On Tuesday, March 10, a federal judge revealed the outline of a plan that would put an end to the existing federal oversight of the health care system in California’s prisons. This oversight began in 2006, when U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson determined that such oversight was necessary due to the average of one inmate death per week caused by neglect or medical malpractice.
The new report from J. Clark Kelso indicates that there have been some significant improvements over the past nine years that may mean that federal oversight is no longer necessary. Over the last decade, California has taken the following steps to help improve health care in prisons:
- Spent an additional $2 billion on new medical facilities for its prisons
- Doubled the annual budget for prison health care in the state to approximately $1.7 billion
- Drastically reduced the number of inmates in California prisons by more than 40,000
Kelso’s report says that the state prison system now has an adequate level of medical staff to handle the health care needs of prisoners, as well as appropriate processes to ensure that all inmates receive the care that they deserve. A new oversight system has also proven effective at catching any problems that arise relating to inmates not receiving the proper care for their medical issues.
However, the report also says there are certain improvements still necessary, including the organization of medical records and appointment schedules, as well as the ability to provide health care onsite rather than sending inmates to hospitals.
Prisoners have a right to quality health care. If know someone who has suffered from negligent health care while incarcerated, meet with an experienced San Diego medical malpractice attorney at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire today.