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Prison Healthcare Reform Needed In California

Sacramento, CA — The corrections department´s inspector general says that despite repeated warnings, California prisons still do a poor job of keeping inmates healthy and preparing them to return to society.

A federal judge in February appointed an overseer to make changes to a health care system he says is broken beyond repair and killing an average of one inmate a week by neglect or malpractice.

Robert Sillen, who had headed Santa Clara County´s public hospital system, was placed in charge of the prison system Tuesday. He immediately toured San Quentin, site of some of the most serious problems found by national experts. A department spokeswoman says Sillen´s arrival is a big step in making the changes that the inspector general says need to be made.