Twenty-nine out of 33 California state prisons have passed an audit on dental care as part of a settlement to a federal lawsuit filed by a Centinela State Prison inmate.
In a statement released Friday by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the outside audits are being done to comply with a federal court order to bring dental care up to basic standards in relation to a 2005 lawsuit filed by inmate Carlos Perez.
Perez alleged that the dental care in California state prisons violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
An agreement to settle the case was reached in 2006. Perez is incarcerated at Centinela State Prison in Seeley, the statement read.
Matthew Cate, the CDCR secretary who was named as the defendant in Perez’s suit, said the audit’s conclusions will hopefully end “federal oversight of our prison dental system.”
“We have worked hard over the last six years to bring CDCR into compliance with the federal court’s order,” Cate said in the statement. “The audit’s passing scores show that CDCR is now providing a constitutional level of care.”
Four remaining prisons are slated for an audit in June by an outside agency. Neither the prisons in Calipatria nor Centinela were mentioned as being among the facilities that have yet to be reviewed.
“The audits involve the examination of the dental records or randomly chosen inmates as well as infection control, peer review and other processes,” the statement reported.
Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-3373-442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the discussion and add your comments to this story! Scroll down or click here and tell us what you think.