If you ask Robert Sillen to name the most important part of his plan, he has no trouble answering:
“The number one priority is recruitment and hiring of qualified people.”
His 50-page action plan includes more hiring and training of staff. He also plans to create electronic medical records. Sillen wants to form special medical response teams to visit prisons experiencing a health crisis. And he plans to tighten up budgeting and accounting practices. As for how much it might cost? Sillen says he doesn’t know exactly, but it won’t be cheap:
“It’s going to cost more than the state wants to spend and it always has – that’s why they never spent it and that’s what got them into the trouble they’re in now.”
A federal judge appointed Sillen last year to take over the state’s prison medical system, after he found conditions there violated the constitution’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment.