The University of California Board of Regents is forming a special committee to consider providing healthcare services to the state's 33 prisons.
The California prison healthcare system is under federal receivership, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing that the University of California take over that role. No agreement has been reached, and the UC regents plan to take up the issue at their next meeting in May.
“This is a very complicated issue that we're going to have to spend a great deal of time to understand how or if UC can be involved,” regents chairman Russell Gould said in a written statement.
Similar agreements with academic centers are in place in Georgia, New Jersey and Texas.
California's prison healthcare system costs $2.4 billion a year. The receiver is proposing four bills in the legislature to reduce costs and improve quality. A controversial plan to build 10,000 prison hospital and mental healthcare beds has been scrapped in favor of a plan to build one hospital and upgrade current health facilities.
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