California prison receiver seeks release of ill inmates

SACRAMENTO — The federal receiver who runs California's prison health care system wants to create a "medical parole" to save the state money on the sickest and most expensive inmates.

Receiver Clark Kelso told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it's one of four proposals he has to control spiraling medical costs in California prisons.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic lawmakers want Kelso to cut $811 million from his budget next year to bring California's spending on inmates closer to other states.

Kelso will also ask the state Legislature to approve bills restricting the use of prescription drugs and outside medical specialists in prisons.

He says the key to medical parole is releasing the sickest inmates, such as those in comas or on ventilators.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.