California Medical Prison Nearly Ready for New Admissions
A spokesperson for the court-appointed overseer of California's prison system says the state's largest medical prison facility is nearly ready to resume admissions, the Stockton Record reports. The facility stopped accepting admissions after it was plagued with problems since it opened last year (Rodriguez-Moore, Stockton Record, 7/13).
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 (California Healthline, 4/14).
Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) revised fiscal year 2014-2015 budget proposal included an allotment of $12.4 million for the facility to fix "unanticipated operational issues" and to remedy "licensing standards."
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 (California Healthline, 5/15).
Details of Reopening
Joyce Hayhoe, a spokesperson for Kelso's office, said the medical facility would resume admissions soon, but she did not give an exact date.
Hayhoe said that all clinicians at the facility have received training and Bob Edwards, former medical executive in Lassen County, was hired last month as the facility's CEO for health care.
Rebekah Evenson, a lawyer with the Prison Law Office, said the organization next week will inspect the facility. Evenson said the office "remain[s] concerned about the quality of care that is being provided" at the facility, but that the prison facility has "been very open and willing to work with" the Prison Law Office to improve care (Stockton Record, 7/13).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.