Cali needs prison health division

Consultants pinpoint need for specialized prison health-care division

A group of federally appointed consultants has released a report recommending California develop a specialized division for the state’s prison health-care system.

The report recommended the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation create an Undersecretary of Health Care to oversee an inmate health-care division, according to the Los Angeles Times. The report also recommended that California maximize the amount of federal funding it will receive through the upcoming Medi-Cal expansion and that state officials should prepare for shortages in prison mental-health workers as health coverage is extended to more residents under the Affordable Care Act.

California’s prison health-care system has been under federal oversight since 2006, when it was determined that one state inmate died every week as a result of medical malpractice or neglect.