Brown’s Revised Budget Allots $12.4M to Prison Medical Facility
Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) recently released revised fiscal year 2014-2015 budget proposal includes an allotment of $12.4 million for the state's largest prison medical facility, which has been hampered by issues since it opened last year, the Stockton Record reports (Rodriguez-Moore, Stockton Record, 5/14).
Background on Facility
The $840 million California Health Care Facility in Stockton opened in July 2013 and was expected to provide care to more than 1,800 prisoners.
However, J. Clark Kelso, the court-appointed overseer, in February halted admissions to the facility after an inspection found unsanitary conditions and inadequate medical care for inmates.
A report on the facility found that it failed to provide sufficient hygiene and medical supplies to patient inmates.
In addition, the report noted that one patient had died from excessive bleeding after his calls to nurses were unanswered for more than 30 minutes.
The report also found that the facility was:
- Improperly managing its supply chain or keeping up with necessary medical supplies; and
- Understaffed in key administrative and clinical positions, including psychiatrists.
Other problems at the facility included:
- Glitches in the facility's electronic health record system and warehouse inventory system; and
- Food being served that failed state health inspections.
As of last month, Kelso had not yet set a date for the facility to resume admissions (California Healthline, 4/14).
Details of Budget's Prison Provision
According to Brown's budget summary, the additional funding requested for the facility would be used to fix "unanticipated operational issues" and to remedy "licensing standards" (Stockton Record, 5/14).
Deborah Hoffman, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said the facility also would use the funding to create 106 new positions, including 77 prison guards.
Hoffman said, "The administration is committed to the continued improvement of CDCR's delivery of health care services to inmates" (AP/Sacramento Bee, 5/14).
Joyce Hayhoe, director of legislation and communications at California Correctional Health Care Services, called the funding a "necessary step" to remedy problems at the facility (Stockton Record, 5/14).
The medical receiver's office is expected to deliver a report in June with recommendations on how many additional physicians and nurses are needed at the facility (AP/Sacramento Bee, 5/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.