SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal official who controls medical care in California prisons wants as much as a quarter-billion dollars a year to provide medication intended to ease a record increase of fatal drug overdoses among inmates.
The plan by Clark Kelso released to The Associated Press Thursday calls for the state to eventually provide drugs to 13,000 inmates to reduce craving and euphoria while weening them off opioids.
It’s the latest in years of attempts to stem overdoses that killed a record 39 California inmates last year.
An attorney for inmates says Kelso’s proposal would be the nation’s most comprehensive program aimed at addiction among inmates.
Kelso could seek a federal court order requiring the state to spend the money but instead expects to request it from the governor and Legislature.
Kelso oversees medical care in California prisons as part of federal court takeover prompted by poor innate health care.