The acting warden of the nation’s largest prison health care facility on the outskirts of Stockton has been reassigned to Folsom State Prison, a switch that comes amid ongoing criticism of conditions at the state institution from a prisoner advocacy group.
But Acting Warden Ron Rackley, 48, said those issues have nothing to do with his decision to accept another post.
Rackley leaves California Health Care Facility after seeing it through construction and an activation process that began in 2013 and spawned reports of inadequate medical care and sanitation problems.
More recently, the Berkeley-based Prison Law Office has questioned three inmate deaths that appear to have been preventable.
There certainly have been challenges in establishing operations at the facility, Rackley said, but his transfer is based on his own desire to work closer to home.
Rackley, an Elk Grove resident, said he’s been interested in Folsom for years, and when the opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago he accepted.
Rackley had been named acting warden of the health care facility after spending more than 25 years at Deuel Vocational Institution, where he had moved up through the ranks to become warden of the Tracy prison.
The Stockton assignment, Rackley said, was not intended as a long-term job.
The $839 million facility had been open for about six months when a court-appointed receiver, charged with taking over responsibility for state prison health care, halted medical and mental health admissions to the facility in January.