California Spends Triple the National Average on Prison Inmate Health Care

By: Brian Shields - Thu, 19 Apr 2012 18:30:07 -0800

     SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - As the state prepares to resume control of inmate medical care, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office says it must find ways to reduce costs that are triple the national average.

      The report released Thursday found the federal receivership that has been in place since 2006 has greatly improved the medical care of state prison inmates but also has caused costs to soar. California spends $16,000 per inmate for health services, compared to an average of $5,000 in other states.

      The report comes less than two weeks before the state and attorneys representing inmates must give a federal judge their recommendations about when the receivership should end and whether it should maintain some oversight role.

      A spokeswoman for receiver J. Clark Kelso says he already is following many of the recommendations.

      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
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