Report Shows Drop in Inmate Deaths Since Medical Receivership
The death rate of inmates in California has decreased by 29% since a federal court appointed a receiver to oversee prison medical care in early 2006, according to a report by receiver J. Clark Kelso, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Kelso submitted the report to U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson on Monday (Rothfeld, Los Angeles Times, 9/16).
According to the report, the death rate was about 200 per 100,000 inmates in mid-2008, down from about 300 per 100,000 inmates in early 2006 (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 9/15).
Kelso attributed the drop to work that the receivership has done to improve health care access and quality in prisons.
However, Donald Specter -- director of the Prison Law Office, which represents inmates in the case that brought about the system oversight -- said the data from the report is not conclusive because it does not distinguish between deaths resulted from medical care and which could be traced to other causes.
Kelso said his office will complete a survey in November analyzing how many inmate deaths were preventable (Los Angeles Times, 9/16).