The “411” on California prison reform: Is your state next? Litigation to increase

by • May 1, 2008 • UncategorizedComments Off on The “411” on California prison reform: Is your state next? Litigation to increase1253

• The Gist: The number of medical lawsuits and compliance issues in the prison system is expected to increase.

By Jane Grametbaur, RN, CCHP, CLNC

In the early 1990s a young insulin-dependant diabetic on dialysis expressed apprehension about his pending transfer to a California State Prison. His fear was justified. He died four days after his arrival in the “big house.”

The death of this young man came as no surprise to correctional medical staff practicing in the state. California prisons have long had a reputation for substandard, inadequate care. This reputation has not improved over the past decade; in fact, the situation has exploded into a crisis of unbelievable proportions. In 2005 the 33 prisons in the state were placed under control of a receiver by District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson.

The seminal event which began the long and tortuous journey to receivership was the filing of a class action lawsuit by 10 California state prison inmates…

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