Officials To Schedule Medical Parole Hearings for 10 California Inmates
On Wednesday, corrections officials announced that 10 of California's sickest and most costly inmates -- who no longer are considered threats to public safety -- soon will be scheduled for medical parole hearings, the Los Angeles Times reports.
J. Clark Kelso, federal receiver for the stateâs prison health services, said he met with Corrections Department Secretary Matthew Cate on Wednesday and the two agreed to schedule parole hearings for the inmates (Dolan, Los Angeles Times, 3/3).
About two dozen of California's inmates currently are receiving care at hospitals, costing the state an estimated $50 million annually (Morain, âCapitol Alert,â Sacramento Bee, 3/2).
About 40% of those costs go toward paying salaries, benefits and overtime for corrections officers who guard the hospitalizedÂ inmates.
In September 2010, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed a bill (SB 1399), by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), that allows the state to grant medical parole to incapacitated inmates.
As of last week, corrections officials had yet to schedule any parole hearings. Officials said they were developing regulations to implement the law.
Division Over Next Steps
Despite Kelsoâs announcement about the medical parole hearings, authorities remain divided about how to move forward. Officials at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation say they need time to conduct medical evaluations and determine where inmates would go if they were released on medical parole.
Nancy Kincaid, spokesperson for the receiver's office, said that the inmates already have been evaluated and that they likely would remain in hospitals after being released.
Neither office said when the first medical parole hearing would occur (Los Angeles Times, 3/3).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.