A billion dollar prison medical clinic that’s sitting half empty will start readmitting the state’s sickest inmates, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Monday.
Admissions were temporarily halted six months ago amid reports of unsanitary conditions and shortages of staff and supplies. But some prison workers are saying not so fast.
It’s the crown jewel of California’s prison system: a brand new billion dollar healthcare facility designed to house the state’s sickest inmates. Wheelchair accessible cells are equipped with hospital beds. There’s a state of the art emergency room and a 29-chair dialysis clinic.
But the sprawling prison complex is eerily quiet, because it’s only half full. Admissions were shut down earlier this year after a court appointed receiver overseeing California’s prison healthcare system found too many problems.
“We were experiencing the issues of inmates not getting enough medical supplies,” said Joyce Hayhoe with the Receiver’s office. “Things like gloves for our nurses, food service, catheters.
One employee, who does not want to be identified, told us the facility simply wasn’t ready when it opened last summer, and he says it’s still not ready. “We don’t have enough officers, we don’t have enough nurses, they are spending money on other things,” he said.