By DON THOMPSON Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—A court-appointed receiver who controls medical care in California prisons said Thursday a report criticizing the quality of inmate treatment is outdated and does not reflect recent improvements.
The prison system‘s independent inspector general reported earlier this week that just nine of the 33 adult prisons met minimum health care standards, even after taxpayers spent billions of dollars to improve treatment.
Receiver J. Clark Kelso said the report should have noted that a second round of inspections at five of the 33 prisons this year showed care is improving.
“The information that we’re now getting on the second round of inspections provides, I think, a much more accurate picture of where we currently are,” he said. “Suffice to say, things are changing and improving pretty quickly.”
He called the inspector general’s report, issued Wednesday, “a misleading snapshot of where we are today.”
The inspector general is tracking prison medical care at the receiver’s request, using criteria established by the receiver. The first full review was completed toward the end of last year.
“I wouldn’t say it’s an outdated snapshot,” said Renee Hansen, spokeswoman for the inspector general’s office. “It’s a compilation of the first 33 reports, and we have released five since. We do agree there have been improvements for the most part—some smaller, some larger.”
The receiver was appointed by the federal courts and took control of the prison medical system in 2006 after the quality of care was determined to be unconstitutional.
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