Federal Takeover of California Prison Health Care
Citing the state's failure, U S District Court Judge Thelton Henderson Thursday said he will place California's prison health care system under federal control as early as next week.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Judge Henderson had hinted last month that he would take over absolute control of the California Department of Correction’s billion-dollar-a –year health care system. He cited reports that perhaps one inmate a week is dying due to medical negligence or maltreatment.
Democratic state Senator Jackie Speier, a longtime critic of the prison system, says the benefits will be long term. "The sad thing is it’s probably gonna wind up costing us more money in the short term because he will make sure that there are people who are properly qualified, and they will be paid appropriately, but in the end, I think, the system and the taxpayers will win"
Speier said she did not know who Judge Henderson would appoint as the official “receiver” to oversee prison health care. The appointment will be open-ended and the receiver will be able to order state corrections officials and employees to take actions and incur expenses without consulting the legislature.