Seven years after federal courts took control of California's prison healthcare system, citing care so poor that inmates were dying needlessly, they will start the long process Friday of turning operations back over to the state.
J. Clark Kelso, the court-appointed overseer, said he could foresee a full resumption of state control in about two years. He will begin Friday with a test: handing over authority to staff and equip new care facilities, including a $1-billion project in Stockton, and the sensitive job of making sure inmates get to doctors, clinics and hospitals.
The early moves will tell whether the state has "the will and capacity to maintain improvement."
"You're never going to find out unless you take your hands off the wheel and turn the car over," Kelso said Wednesday. "I'm not getting out of the car entirely. I'm going to sit over in the passenger seat, and I'm only letting them do a portion of it. They're not ready to get on the highway yet."
Read more at the LA Times