California Regains Oversight of Folsom State Prison

REPRESA, Calif. — Oversight of Folsom State Prison’s (FSP) medical services is once again in the hands of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), according to a July 14 statement by the CDCR. The move marked an important step in the state’s the long-term transition back to full control of inmate medical care. However, more than 30 California correctional facilities remain under federal control.

As a result of what it deemed to be substandard medical facilities and poor healthcare practices, a federal court stripped California of its control of inmate healthcare in 2006. That year, a federal monitor found that overcrowding had contributed to inmate death, and that those deaths were a result of largely preventable causes. In 2007, a three-judge panel mandated that California work to decrease its prison population.

In a tri-annual report released June 1, California State Receiver J. Clark Kelso, who oversees correctional healthcare, noted that inspectors had given FSP a favorable rating. “The [Office of the Inspector General] has issued its final report for FSP, and the institution received an overall rating of ‘adequate’,” the report stated.

“I hereby issue this revocable delegation of authority to you, to take over management of the medical care program at Folsom State Prison,” Kelso added in a July 13 letter to the CDCR.

CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard said in a statement that the department is anxious to reassume management of the facility. “We’re pleased and ready to start taking back control of medical care. We know that other CDCR prisons are ready to step up in the months ahead and we will continue collaborating with the receiver’s office to ensure inmates at all of our facilities receive appropriate health care,” Beard said.

According to the tri-annual report, the plan focuses on transitioning prisons back one at a time after the receiver determines that the facility is providing adequate medical care. The state will also institute improvements to the electronic medical records system, which will replace the antiquated and inefficient paper system, and will renovate medical facilities across the state.