A federal judge in California has appointed J. Clark Kelso to replace Robert Sillen as the prison healthcare receiver in California, effective Jan. 23. In 2005, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California established the receivership to control the delivery of healthcare services to all California state prisoners within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The court appointed Sillen as receiver at the pleasure of the court in February 2006, and he began his role that April. Sillen was not available for comment.
In the Jan. 23 court order, Judge Thelton Henderson said the receivership has developed and put into practice critical short-term measures that require urgent attention, but that the focus must now shift to long-term reform. After careful reflection and deliberation, the court has concluded that such work would best be accomplished by appointing a new receiver who brings a different set of strengths appropriate to guiding the receivership through its second phase, the order said.
Kelso has spent the past 12 years serving as director of the Capital Center for Government Law and Policy at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, Calif. In the 1990s, he worked with the California Judicial Council and Administrative Office of the Courts on a variety of task forces and commissions. -- by Jessica Zigmond