Ken Harrison 6:45 p.m., Aug. 23
Department of Corrections Wants Control of Its Medical Facilities Back
Last week the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation asked a federal judge to return control of prison medical facilities to the state, claiming that sufficient improvements had been made to guarantee inmates health care of a quality in compliance with constitutional requirements.
The Department says in a court filing that it has the “will, capacity, and leadership to maintain a sustainable system of providing constitutionally adequate medical health care.”
When the Office of the Inspector General, which is responsible for evaluating the quality of medical acre in state prisons, performed a round of compliance inspections between September 2008 and June 2010, it issued the state an overall score of 72, denoting “low adherence” to acceptable standard. Twenty-four of the state’s 33 prisons received a low score, with nine receiving “moderate adherence” rankings of between 75 and 85. No facilities scored 85 or higher, which indicates a high adherence to constitutional standards.
A second round of inspections was completed in December, and findings have been reported from 28 of the 33 prisons thus far.
The state says it has shown significant improvement, with a recent release showing the state’s overall score having improved to 80.2.
Locally, the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility received an initial score of 68 when it was inspected in 2009, and a 73 upon re-inspection in 2011. The current score qualifies it as the lowest-ranking prison in the state with regard to inmate medical care.
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