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Reporting on Prison Health Care: A Live Internet Radio Conversation with KPCC's Julie Small

Reporting on Prison Health Care: A Live Internet Radio Conversation with KPCC's Julie Small

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Julie Small/SCPR

Prison Health Care: Live Conversation with Julie Small
Thursday, August 26

The show aired at 11 AM PST and is now archived below.

Trouble with the player? Go to our blogtalkradio page. From there you can also share this audio on your own website.

To continue this conversation, leave a comment below tweet with the hashtag #rohprisonhealth.

Covering prison health care is not for the faint of heart: there is little public sympathy for prisoners, getting information is difficult and sources risk retribution. Julie Small, state capitol reporter for Southern California Public Radio and a California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow, deftly navigated those challenges to produce her investigative series, Prison Affliction: Medical Care Inside California's State Prisons. I'll be moderating an BlogTalkRadio conversation with Julie and invite you to join us. Please RSVP here (appreciated but not required).

Small's series began airing on Monday on KPCC and will continue through Friday. You can get a taste for her reporting process and the discoveries she made in her Q&A with ReportingonHealth.

In the meantime, you might want to check out Julie's series so far:

Part One: California's budget woes thwart improvements to prison medicine


Part Two: Chino prison sees some improvements in medical care


Part 3: California inmates still suffer from lapses in prison medical care


Part 4: Vacaville's Central Medical Facility – The 'gold standard' for prison medical care in California


Part 5: Fewer improvements planned for prison medical care




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One question for Julie: You spent many months working on this series. What are some shorter term ideas for journalists interested in covering prison health issues in their communities?

Picture of Michelle Levander

The day of this blogtalkradio conversation, the Office of the Inspector General released a final report finding: "We reviewed the 17 prisons’ performance in these five general medical categories: medication management; access to medical providers and services; continuity of care; primary care provider responsibilities; and nurse responsibilities. In doing so, we noted two significant recurring problems. First: nearly all prisons were ineffective at ensuring that inmates receive their medications. Sixteen of the 17 institutions either failed to timely administer, provide or deliver medications or failed to document that they had done so. The 17 prisons’ average score of 58 percent in medication management was significantly below the minimum score for moderate adherence. "Numerous prisons were significantly noncompliant in the following medication management tasks: delivering sick call medications (new orders) to inmates; providing chronic care medications; providing medications to inmates within one day of arrival at the prison; delivering medications to inmates upon discharge from an outside hospital; and administering tuberculosis medications." To read more, go to

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