Courts order stoppage at new Stockton prison hospital

Cites short staffing in both the medical and custody divisions and serious shortages of supplies and equipment

As regular readers know the federal courts still have operational control of the medical care within the California prison system.  The feds have just stopped all admissions to the massive new California Health Care Facility (CHCF) just outside of Stockton, citing short staffing (medical staffing there is still controlled by the feds) in both the medical and custody divisions and serious shortages of supplies and equipment. 

In addition it would seem that at least one inmate died recently, unable to get assistance.  It is alleged that medical staff routinely ignore call buttons and that a bleeding prisoner died three weeks ago after nursing staff failed to respond to repeated calls for help.

J. Clark Kelso, the federal overseer, not only put all admissions on hold but also stopped the possible opening of an adjacent 1,000 plus bed facility.

Complaints by lawyers include allegations that many inmate patients do not have shoes and must use broken down wheel chairs.  It is also alleged that the hospital is using other inmate patients to assist with prisoner mobility.  The supply chain is so defective that things like towels and soap are sometimes unavailable, and basic incontinence supplies are lacking.  An outbreak of scabies seems likely linked to lack of basic hygenie supplies.

The Warden, Ron Rackley (who I know and worked with and who is a decent guy) has acknowledged “fragmented care” due to serious staffing shortages in both medical and custody.  Whole sections of the massive 1,722 bed facility have not been opened due to lack of staff.

Here's an excellent piece by Paige St. John from the L.A. Times on this situation. 

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