Welcome to California Prison Health Care Services

California Correctional Health Care Services - Our Mission

Revised March 2011


To provide constitutionally adequate medical care to patient-inmates of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) within a delivery system the state can successfully manage and sustain.



To reduce unnecessary morbidity and mortality and protect public health by providing patient-inmates timely access to safe, efficient medical care, and coordinate the delivery of medical care with mental health, dental and disability programs.

Strategic Goals to fulfill our mission

  1. Ensure timely access to health care services.
  2. Establish a Prison Medical Program addressing the full continuum of health care services.
  3. Recruit, train, & retain a professional quality medical care workforce.
  4. Implement a Quality Assurance & Continuous Improvement Program.
  5. Establish Medical Support Infrastructure.
  6. Provide for necessary clinical, administrative & housing facilities.

While continuing to follow the Institute of Medicine Organizational Change Strategies to safe, effective, & efficient health care

  1. Redesign of care processes based on best practices.
  2. Information technologies for clinical information and decision support.
  3. Knowledge and skills management.
  4. Development of effective teams.
  5. Coordination of care across patient conditions, services and settings over time.
  6. Incorporation of performance and outcome measurements for improvement and accountability.

Moving from

Chaotic care that is largely episodic and consists of often untimely and uninformed encounters between patients and clinicians.

Moving to

A system of proactive, planned, informed, patient-centered and professional care.


Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Ensure Timely Access to Health Care Services

  • Redesign and Standardize Screening and Assessment Processes at Reception/Receiving and Release (IN PROGRESS)
  • Establish Staffing and Processes for Ensuring Health Care Access at Each Institution (IN PROGRESS)
  • Establish Health Care Scheduling and Patient-Inmate Tracking System (IN PROGRESS)
  • Establish A Standardized Utilization Management System (COMPLETED)

Goal 2: Establish a Prison Medical Program Addressing the Full Continuum of Health Care Services

  • Redesign and Standardize Access and Medical Processes for Primary Care (IN PROGRESS)
  • Improve Chronic Care System to Support Proactive, Planned Care (COMPLETED)
  • Improve Emergency Response to Reduce Avoidable Morbidity and Mortality (COMPLETED)
  • Improve the Provision of Specialty Care and Hospitalization to Reduce Avoidable Morbidity and Mortality (IN PROGRESS)

Goal 3: Recruit, Train, and Retain a Professional Quality Medical Care Workforce

  • Recruit Physicians and Nurses to Fill Ninety Percent of Established Positions (IN PROGRESS)
  • Establish Clinical Leadership and Management Structure (IN PROGRESS)
  • Establish Professional Training Programs for Clinicians (IN PROGRESS)

Goal 4: Implement a Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement Program

  • Establish Clinical Quality Measurement and Evaluation Program (IN PROGRESS)
  • Establish a Quality Improvement Program (IN PROGRESS)
  • Establish Medical Peer Review and Discipline Process to Ensure Quality of Care (COMPLETED)
  • Establish Medical Oversight Unit to Control and Monitor Medical Employee Investigations (COMPLETED)
  • Establish a Health Care Appeals Process, Correspondence Control and Habeas Corpus Petitions Initiative (COMPLETED)
  • Establish Out-of-State, Community Correctional Facilities and Re-entry Facility Oversight Program (COMPLETED)

Goal 5: Establish Medical Support Infrastructure

  • Establish a Comprehensive, Safe and Efficient Pharmacy Program (COMPLETED)
  • Establish Standardized Health Records Practice (COMPLETED)
  • Establish Effective Radiology and Laboratory Services (ONGOING)
  • Establish Clinical Information Systems (COMPLETED)
  • Expand and Improve Telemedicine Capabilities (COMPLETED)

Goal 6: Provide for Necessary Clinical, Administrative and Housing Facilities

  • Upgrade administrative and clinical facilities at each of CDCR’s 33 prison locations to provide patient-inmates with appropriate access to care (IN PROGRESS)
  • Expand administrative, clinical and housing facilities to serve up to 10,000 patient-inmates with medical and/or mental health needs (IN PROGRESS)
  • Complete Construction at San Quentin State Prison (COMPLETED)