Inmates again allowed at Stockton medical facility

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sick inmates can once again be sent to a costly prison medical complex after months of delays in filling a facility intended to help end years of federal court oversight.

The court-appointed overseer who controls prison medical care said Monday that most problems have been corrected at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton.

The $839-million facility opened last July. But the federal receiver abruptly halted admissions in January, citing the prison's inability to provide basic services to sick inmates.

Corrections officials said the state's investment should prove to federal judges that California is serious about improving its care of physically and mentally ill inmates.

Treatment had been so poor that it led the judges to demand a drastic reduction of the state's prison population.

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