Bloomberg, August 25, 2011
Jeffrey Wang closed his struggling medical practice in Visalia, CA, in 2007 to take a job as a physician treating inmates in Corcoran State Prison, where murderer Charles Manson is locked up. "The first few months I regretted it," the 54-year-old Wang said in telephone interview from the prison, about 175 miles northwest of Los Angeles. "But the pay was much higher and the benefits were much better." Wang made $382,519 in 2010, including overtime and extra- duty compensation. He was one of almost 100 doctors, dentists and other medical practitioners in the state who got at least $300,000 last year to work behind bars, according to the controller's office. California prison doctors earn more than counterparts in New York, Texas and Florida, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The highest-paid physician in New York's penal system in 2010, for instance, collected $200,147, including overtime, according to the state comptroller's office. The most that a Texas prison doctor can make is about $220,000 annually, corrections officials said. The top compensation for a medical employee in Florida was $230,711 in fiscal year 2011, with no overtime, a corrections department spokeswoman said.