California prison officials are failing to treat adequately an outbreak of hepatitis C that has infected thousands of inmates, says a new federal class-action lawsuit reported by the Los Angeles Times. One inmate, Kevin Jackson of the California State Prison at Solano, charged that he has not received proper treatment since being diagnosed with the disease in August 2007. Up to 40 percent of the 171,000 inmates in state prisons may be infected with hepatitis C, said Shawn Khorrami, an attorney for Jackson.
The lawsuit alleges that the state is wrongly excluding thousands of inmates from liver biopsies and antiviral treatments and allowing their diseases to progress to more advanced stages of liver damage. The suit the latest in a string of legal challenges alleging that officials have failed to provide adequate medical care to inmates.