So what went wrong in this brand new prison designed from the ground up to deliver health care? Problems with the radiation treatment equipment for cancer patients? Problems staffing the dialysis center? Actually the problems were a bit more basic. As reported in the Sacramento Bee (read it here):
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 report also said there were so few guards that a single officer watched 48 cells at a time and could not step away to use the bathroom.Kelso said the problems at the facility call into question California's ability to take responsibility for prison health care statewide. He accused corrections officials of treating the mounting health care problems as a second-class priority, the newspaper said.
Spokes persons for the administration described the situation as a normal glitch associated with the rolling out of a new facility. Perhaps. But it also looks like business as usual in a system where medical neglect of chronically ill prisoners went on for decades under the deliberate indifference of prison administrators and governors. Rather than apologize to the citizens of this state and seek to make amends to the prisoners, former prisoners, and correctional workers forced to experience and participate in those degrading conditions, the administration has continued with smugness to defend the status quo with an attitude that borders on contempt to the courts. Is it surprising that actors never held to account for their human rights violations cannot create conditions that respect human rights? Good healthcare takes medical professionals and modern infrastructure, which appear to be still lacking to a significant degree even in this brand new purpose built "Health Care Facility". But healthcare also takes humanity. A prison system that can't get that right, can 't run its healthcare system and shouldn't be allowed to continue to operate prisons on which the good name of the people of California is stamped.