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Judge supports end to federal oversight of prison healthcare, with some conditions

The federal receiver spent $135 million on a new San Quentin Health Facility, as part of system wide improvements.
The federal receiver spent $135 million on a new San Quentin Health Facility, as part of system wide improvements. California Prison Health Care Services

Federal District Judge Thelton Henderson released an order Wednesday regarding California's plan for getting its prison medical system out from under federal receivership. The big question was whether Henderson would allow the transition to happen before the receiver's full turn-around plan had been put in place. According to KPCC's Julie Small, who has followed the prison medical care issue closely, the order supports the state's plan, but with a few conditions. First, the state will have to demonstrate as good or better prison health care as the receiver has provided. Second, the state will have to finish infrastructure improvements. And the state will have to institutionalize the receivers's changes to prison healthcare in state law, regulations and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation operations manual. 

The bottom line, Small says, is that prison officials' hopes of ending the receivership this year will not be met: the transition will happen over years, not months. 

California's prison medical system has been under federal receivership since June 2005, when Henderson determined that California had failed to adequately improve health care in the prison system after settling a 2001 law suit. 

Full order below.

 

Order Receiver and Planning

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