California to limit medical parole to inmates on ventilators

Prison officials say a change in federal rules led them to limit medical parole to inmates so ill they are hooked to ventilators to breathe, meaning their movement is so limited they are not a public danger. The state previously included a much broader range of permanent incapacities allowing inmates to be cared for in nursing homes outside prison walls.

Steve Fama, an attorney with the nonprofit Prison Law Office, said the court-appointed federal office that controls health care in California prisons told him the change could affect about 70 of the 210 inmates approved for medical parole under the current system, started in 2014.

FILE - A wheelchair-bound inmate wheels himself through a checkpoint at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Calif., on April 9, 2008. California corrections officials have begun limiting medical parole only to inmates so ill they are on ventilators. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

FILE – A wheelchair-bound inmate wheels himself through a checkpoint at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Calif., on April 9, 2008. California corrections officials have begun limiting medical parole only to inmates so ill they are on ventilators. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

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