It’s Your Health: Receiver Update

Receiver Update
By Pam Fadem


On Aug 26, 2010 the Calif. State Office of the Inspector
General (OIG) issued a report evaluating the
status of the court mandated improvements in state
prison health care. The report was NOT a cheery one.
Out of 17 prisons that were included in the evaluation,
only 2 had a minimum passing score. CCWF and
CIW were part of this survey, and CCWF was one of
the 2 prisons that had an overall passing score-but just
barely (78%, just 3 points over the minimum 75% ).

The report noted 2 main problems:
1. 16 of the 17 prisons are not merely failing to
document that inmates received their medications,
they are also failing to provide the medications to the
inmates. Both types of failure denote noncompliance
and poor performance. This includes ?alarmingly low
scores in tuberculosis treatment, which affects the
health of inmates and staff alike.? [p. 3].
2. Poor access to medical providers and services.
No prisons met the 75 % minimum score that the
court set for moderate adherence on access to providers
and services, while seven prisons scored 60 % or
less.

Here are some of the other measures:
? From 2006-2008 the overall prisoner death rate decreased
from 249 per 100,000 to 216.
? The number of deaths medical reviewers deemed
?likely preventable? deaths dropped from 18 in 2006
to 5 in 2008.
? The rate of ?possibly preventable? deaths increased
from 48 to 61. The receiver says that part of the
reason for this may be that the receiver?s offi ce raised
the threshold for a death to be deemed ?non?preventable.?

The OIG report and the receiver, Clark Kelso, say
that the quality of health care providers now working
in the prisons has also improved greatly. But numbers
are just numbers. And even if a prison has a score that
meets the minimum score- like CCWF- it does not
mean that the prison has met the ?constitutional standards??
this can only be decided by the courts.

The OIG report and the receiver, Clark Kelso, say
that the quality of health care providers now working
in the prisons has also improved greatly. But numbers
are just numbers. And even if a prison has a score that
meets the minimum score- like CCWF- it does not
mean that the prison has met the ?constitutional standards??
this can only be decided by the courts.
The Receiver was mandated to make a comprehensive
plan to improve every aspect of health care
inside, from record keeping, to access to care, to
quality of health care providers. The State has fought
against compliance at every step, mostly decrying the
cost of providing care to prisoners while the rest of
the State was in a huge budget crunch.

NONE OF US denies that Calif. is strapped for
money, that health care, education, public transportation,
housing and all necessary social services are
being cut. But the answer is not in denying basic,
humane, constitutionally mandated care and services
to people who are locked up and have no ability to get
care anywhere else.

NONE OF US denies that Calif. is strapped for
money, that health care, education, public transportation,
housing and all necessary social services are
being cut. But the answer is not in denying basic,
humane, constitutionally mandated care and services
to people who are locked up and have no ability to get
care anywhere else.
So what do you think? How do you evaluate the
care that you now receive at CCWF, VSPW or CIW?
What changes, for the better or for the worse, do you
experience?