Inmate medical care is budgeted at $1.5 billion for this year. A federal overseer recommends early release of chronically ill inmates as a way to cut costs.
Amid California's budget crisis, the receiver put in charge of the prison health system by a federal judge has spent $82 million on blueprints for medical facilities that have been largely scrapped, more than $50,000 a month on an architectural consultant and millions hiring medical professionals — more per inmate than in many other states.
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