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Federal judge threatens takeover of CA prison health care system

[JURIST] A federal judge Tuesday threatened to take over the California prison health care system [backgrounder], citing "terrible" medical care that prisoners receive. Judge Thelton E. Henderson [profile] cited complaints about bad doctors, wretched facilities, and irresponsible management of HIV patients, all of which are said to have led to inmate deaths. The prison system [CA Department of Corrections official website] has acknowledged the health care crisis and has indiacted that it would welcome private management or a court takeover [San Francisco Chronicle report]. Henderson issued an order giving Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger until July 11 to show why federal courts should not take over prison health care. His jurisdiction stems from a 2001 class-action lawsuit filed by prisoners over deplorable health care conditions; the lawsuit was settled [settlement agreement, PDF] in 2002. Read Judge Henderson's order [PDF]. Reuters has more.

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