Prison Health Care Reformer Meets With Personnel Board
Robert Sillen, the court-appointed receiver in charge of reforming the state's prison health system, on Tuesday appeared before the State Personnel Board to discuss several proposals that have met resistance from the state agency, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Sillen said that he is prepared to seek federal court orders to suspend state laws and contracts and obtain the necessary funding to carry out his proposals to reform the prison system. Sillen opposes the state agency's mandate on pre-employment drug testing for licensed vocational nurses, who Sillen wants to hire to replace the 1,200 medical technical assistant positions in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Sillen told board members that the drug testing would deter nursing candidates from applying for positions.
Personnel Board chair Sean Harrigan said the system's laws are upheld by the state Supreme Court. He added, "[W]e're not going to give up protecting those rights" (Furillo, Sacramento Bee, 1/24).