Tuesday, April 15, 2014

California's state-of-the-art medical prison a 'bust'

California's $840-million medical prison — the largest in the nation — was built to provide care to more than 1,800 inmates, reported the Los Angeles Times.
Since opening in July, the state-of-the-art facility has been beset by waste, mismanagement and miscommunication between the prison and medical staffs.
Prisoner-rights lawyer Rebecca Evenson, checking on compliance with disabled access laws, was shocked by the problems. "This place was supposed to fix a lot of what was wrong," she said. "But they not only were not providing care, but towels or soap or shoes."
Reports by prison staff and inmate-rights lawyers described prisoners left in broken wheelchairs and lying on soiled bedsheets. Administrators had to drive into town to borrow catheters from a local hospital.
The state also had underestimated the number of nurses and guards needed, and there were not enough staffers to unlock doors, help disabled prisoners move about or take patients to the showers. Other inmates were recruited to help. Prisoner advocates reported seeing a man in a wheelchair whose job it was to push the wheelchair of another inmate. A disabled prisoner said he had been left to sit on the toilet for hours.
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