On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco dismissed a lawsuit over inadequate dental care in California prisons, the AP/U-T San Diego reports.
Attorneys representing the state and inmates requested the dismissal.
The ruling states, "A comprehensive system is now in place to ensure that inmate-patients receive constitutionally adequate dental care."
The lawsuit was filed seven years ago, when the state's prison system was one of the nation's largest (Thompson, AP/U-T San Diego, 8/22).
About six years ago, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson appointed J. Clark Kelso to oversee the state's prison health care system.
In May 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its inmate population to help improve prison health care (California Healthline, 7/16).
Signs of Improvement
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation completed inspections of dental programs at all 33 adult prisons in June. The programs passed inspections with an average grade of more than 98%.
Matthew Cate -- secretary of CDCR -- said conditions are improving in part because thousands of lower-level inmates have been shifted to county facilities.
In a statement, Cate said, "[O]ur progress is good news for the prison system and the taxpayers of California" (AP/U-T San Diego, 8/22).