California Gov. Jerry Brown's administration is sharply at odds with inmate advocates and a federal receiver over the future of the prison medical system, reports the Los Angeles Times. State officials told a federal judge they're ready to take back control of the medical system in the next 30 days. The receiver said he should remain in charge until at least early 2014.
The Brown administration said prison health care has been “wholly transformed” in recent years. In addition, officials said, the ongoing reduction in the inmate population — the result of a separate court order — has made it easier to provide better medical care because prisons are less crowded. The inmate advocates who originally sued the state over poor medical care said the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation still lacks the will, resources and leadership to prevent the system from backsliding. Receiver J. Clark Kelso said his control should not be ended until more improvements have been made. That includes lowering the inmate population to court-ordered limits, finishing a new medical facility, and making headway on other construction projects.