Leaked Draft Report Critical of Proposed Prison Health Upgrades
A draft analysis by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation strongly criticized draft spending proposals for prison health care upgrades and new facilities put forward by court-appointed receiver J. Clark Kelso, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The draft analysis was leaked to the Bee as Kelso's motion to force the state to transfer funds to his office moves through the courts.
U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson has given the state until Nov. 5 to transfer $250 million to Kelso (Furillo, Sacramento Bee, 11/1).
Kelso has requested a total of $8 billion from the state for the project.
Henderson removed the prison medical system from state control more than two years ago after concluding that health care did not meet constitutional standards.Â He approved the construction proposal in June.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) had asked the Legislature to approve bond funding for the project but the request was rejected (California Healthline, 10/28).
Statements in the Draft Analysis
The analysis projects that it will cost the state $2.3 billion annually to operate prison medical facilities proposed by Kelso. The bulk of that cost can be traced to staffing increases.
The report indicates that Kelso estimates 14,300 new employees would be needed to staff the new facilities.
According to the report, the per-inmate cost of incarceration in the new facilities would rise to $230,000 annually, up from the average $46,104 currently spent on a California prisoner each year.
The draft report maintains that Kelso has not established clear standards on the constitutional minimum level of health care for inmates, how the state is falling short of that level or how his proposals will correct the shortfalls.
In a prepared statement, Kelso said that he is disappointed "with the unauthorized leak of the report" and said that the report is based on an outdated draft proposal.The corrections department declined to comment (Sacramento Bee, 11/1). 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.