Judge Puts CA Inmate Health Care Into Receivership


A federal judge will seize control of California’s prison health care system and place it under a receiver, declaring that “extreme measures” were needed to fix a system that kills one inmate each week through medical incompetence or neglect, the Los Angeles Times reports. U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson in San Francisco said that despite his repeated warnings and the “good intentions” of some state officials, the state continues allowing sick prisoners to die “for no acceptable reason.”

Attorneys on both sides called the decision historic. They believe it’s the first time that a government operation the size of California’s prison medical care system is to be placed under a federal receiver. In 1995 the District of Columbia’s jails were assigned to a receiver for five years, but that system has 1,700 inmates compared with California’s 163,000. By putting the system in receivership, Henderson effectively shifts power for all decisions related to inmate care to the federal court. There was no indication how long the receivership might last or what it would cost. Henderson said it would certainly be a “multiyear effort.”

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-prisons1jul01,0,3244639.story?coll=la-home-headlines

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