A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

California inmate healthcare needs $7 billion reform: prison receiver

[JURIST] California prisons [JURIST news archive] need an influx of $7 billion to bring inmate healthcare up to constitutional standards, said court-appointed prison medical overseer J. Clark Kelso [official profile] Monday. The state senate has been unwilling to authorize a bond to borrow money for the project, so Kelso has appealed to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website] to use his emergency powers to raise the needed funds. Last week, a court ruled [JURIST report] that section 8658 of the California Emergency Services Act [PDF text] granted the governor authority to address prison conditions in times of emergency. AP has more.

In January, a federal judge ruled [PDF text; JURIST report] that the healthcare provided in California prisons does not meet constitutional standards even though medical services have improved significantly since the court assumed oversight [JURIST report] of the system in 2005. Bringing the state's prison system up to constitutional standards could take as long as four years, according to officials at the California Health Care Receivership [official website]. In July 2007, the court ordered the formation of a special three-judge panel [JURIST report] to supervise and reduce California's prison population after finding that California's prison overcrowding was preventing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) [official website] from adequately providing mental health care.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.