33 percent of state prisons in California do not provide well-quality healthcare to the incarcerated population, as many recent inspections have proven that concern.
The Office of the Inspector General makes evaluations every couple of years or so, inspecting medical facilities and how patients are cared for at all 34 prisons. California Correctional Center in Susanville closed in 2023, but it was still included in the inspections that the office makes.
According to the Sacramento Bee, “The most recent cycle of inspections took place from March 2019 through September 2023, which notably included the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Performance has declined since the beginning of the pandemic, says the office's report. There is a lack of access to diagnostic services, referrals, and the environment of medical care is of poor quality.
According to the Sacramento Bee, “Of the 34 facilities that were evaluated this round, 11 provided “inadequate” care to their patients.” 23 had earned an “adequate” rating, and none had made it to the proficient level.
The “inadequate” facilities include San Quentin Rehabilitation Center and High Desert State Prison, known for having poor facilities for many years. Nine prisons moved from “inadequate” in the previous inspection cycle to “adequate” in the latest inspection.
“Nine institutions received ratings that demonstrated overall improvement,” wrote Inspector General Amarik Singh in her letter that accompanied the report, “a notable achievement considering the challenges that beset the prison system over the past three years.”