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Sickest Calif. Inmates Cost Millions

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Aired 4/19/10

The head of Prison Health Care Services wants to find a way to release some of the sickest and most expensive inmates in state prisons. Twenty-one inmates cost taxpayers more then 4$0 million in medical bills last year.

— The head of Prison Health Care Services wants to find a way to release some of the sickest and most expensive inmates in state prisons. Twenty-one inmates cost taxpayers more then $40 million in medical bills last year.

Some of the inmates are on ventilators, others need feeding tubes. They are all medically incapacitated, but in California they are not eligible for compassionate release because they have more then six months to live.

All 21 inmates are in hospitals outside of prison which means they must be guarded 24 hours, seven days a week. The costs add up to as much as $2.5 million per year to treat one inmate.

Clark Kelso is the receiver in charge of Prison Health Services in California.

“Those people need to be put on a parole type of status where you don’t have to have 24 hour guarding.”

The state legislature is looking at a medical parole bill. Kelso estimates releasing just 32 of the sickest inmates would save more then $200 million over five years.

Comments

Avatar for user 'FrankCourser'

FrankCourser | April 19, 2010 at 12:30 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

This article fails to mention that these inmates are guarded by not one but two prison guards. Which CDCR explains is for the inmates protection yet comes at an enormous cost to taxpayers. The prison guards union loves this policy as it increases overtime and membership due to the higher guard to inmate ratio. This will become a much larger problem due to Three Strikes and longer sentences as an ever aging inmate population grows older. It is remarkable that Three Strikes and longer sentencing were also pushed and paid for by the prison guards union. Little wonder why the department of corrections is the number one fastest growing state agency with over 62,000 employees.

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