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Hospitalized prisoners cost CA taxpayers millions

The Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2011
Californian authorities have identified 25 "permanently medically incapacitated" inmates being treated at outside hospitals who are candidates for parole because they no longer pose a threat to the public. Californians will pay more than $50 million to treat them this year, between $19 million and $21 million of that for guards' salaries, benefits and overtime, according to data from the federal receiver who oversees California prison healthcare. The final amount will depend on how many of the guards are paid overtime. If the prisoners were released from custody, the medical costs would shift to their families if they could afford to pay, or to other government programs if they could not. The expense of guarding the patients would be eliminated.

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