Calif. Faces Setback in Efforts To Regain Control of Prison Health Care
A new state Office of the Inspector General report finds that medical services at the California Correctional Center are "inadequate," marking a setback in the state's efforts to regain control of its prison health care system, AP/KPCC's "KPCC News" reports ("KPCC News," AP/KPCC, 8/24).
In 2006, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled that federal oversight of the state's prison health care system was needed after determining that an average of one inmate per week died as a result of medical malpractice or neglect (California Healthline, 6/2).
So far this year, the California inspector general has given passing grades to medical programs at three correctional facilities:
- The California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, which passed in July (California Healthline, 7/8);
- The Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, which passed in June (California Healthline, 6/18); and
- Folsom State Prison, which passed in April (California Healthline, 4/23).
Details of CCC Medical Care
The California Correctional Center is the first prison facility this year to receive a failing grade for medical services from the state OIG.
The Susanville facility failed in nine out of 12 key areas examined by inspectors.
The inspection report attributed the inadequate care to:
- A lack of "individual patient ownership and responsibility" among staff;
- Poor nursing documentation, supervision and accountability in some units;
- The prison's remote location; and
- A shortage of doctors.
Inspectors said that the issues were particularly notable because the 4,000 inmates at the facility were relatively healthy and young, according to "KPCC News."
Jeffrey Callison, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said the state will continue its efforts to regain control of the prison health care system.
Meanwhile, court-appointed federal receiver J. Clark Kelso said he will devote more resources to improving conditions in prison medical programs.
Joyce Hayhoe, a spokesperson for the receiver's office, said, "Our goal is to make sure all of our facilities provide good medical care ("KPCC News," AP/KPCC, 8/24).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.