LA Times — A court overseer has halted inmate patient admissions at California's newest prison amid reports that the sprawling medical facility is beset by problems, including the unanswered calls of a dying patient.
After meeting last week with corrections officials, Clark Kelso, the court-appointed medical receiver, ordered admissions stopped at the 6-month-old California Health Care Facility in Stockton and the opening of an adjacent 1,133-bed prison facility put on hold.
In a report to federal courts Friday, Kelso said the prison's inability to provide adequate medical and hygiene supplies and unsanitary conditions "likely contributed to an outbreak of scabies."
Kelso said the problems at the Stockton prison call into question California's ability to take responsibility for prison healthcare statewide. He accused corrections officials of treating the mounting healthcare problems "as a second-class priority."
An inspection team sent in by prisoners' lawyers in early January found that inmates had been left overnight in their feces, confined to broken wheelchairs or forced to go without shoes.
A shortage of towels forced prisoners to dry off with dirty socks, a shortage of soap halted showers for some inmates, and incontinent men were put into diapers and received catheters that did not fit, causing them to soil their clothes and beds, according to the inspection report and a separate finding by Kelso.
The inspectors also found that nurses failed to promptly answer call buttons in the prison's outpatient unit. Inmates told the inspectors of a bleeding prisoner on the unit who died Jan. 8 after nurses disregarded his repeated attempts to summon help.
A spokeswoman for the state corrections department attributed the decision to halt admissions to the complexities of opening a one-of-a-kind medical prison. continue reading...