New Federal Receiver For Prison Medical Care Appointed

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Judge Thelton Henderson appointed Robert Sillen as the Federal Receiver in 2006.  His job was to bring prison medical care to constitutional standards.  Sillen was known for his brash, combative way with state officials.  But now Henderson says a style of collaborative leadership is necessary.  The new Receiver is Clark Kelso-- a law professor who’s worked in other troubled state departments. He says the goal is to return control of the system to the state. 

 “In order to do that you need to have someone who can work well collaboratively with a lot of stakeholders. In the executive branch, with the legislature with key external stakeholders…” 

 A court found the care in state prisons violated the Constitution’s provision against cruel and unusual punishment.  Sillen raised salaries and started new hiring processes to address a high number of vacancies.  He was not available for comment.