Judge May Put CA Prison Health Care Into Receivership
"Lock 'em up forever" legislation has been popular for a quarter century. The consequences of harsh sentencing laws -- predicted by participants in the criminal justice system but routinely ignored by politicians eager to seem tough on crime -- are painful today. Prisons overflow with aging inmates, and state budgets groan under the increasing weight of geriatric health care bills.
Feeling pressure to adhere to tight budgets, prison administrators and staff sometimes neglect their duty to provide adequate health care to inmates. A federal judge recently recognized that the problem in California is of constitutional magnitude.
Health care in the Department of Corrections has become so unconstitutionally shoddy, U.S. District Judge Thelton E. Henderson found, that he is seriously considering the appointment of a receiver under his control to manage a system that he said is in "a blatant state of crisis."
As the Sacramento Bee reports, neglecting an inmate's health can be disastrous.
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