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Health Care and Public Safety in California

Health care and public safety are important areas of social development (Finkler & Ward, 2006). The main organizations that deal with these areas in California include the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Medical Facility. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is responsible for the operation of California state corrections, rehabilitation and parole systems. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ensures the security of the citizens by incarceration and rehabilitation work with offenders of various types (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 2009).

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Founded by the Legislature in 1955, California Medical Facility currently serves the purposes of addressing the health care needs of the male felon population in California prisons. Today’s budget of the facility equals $171 million, while the staff includes over 1800 employees. The structure of the California Medical Facility includes several operating facilities among which there are correctional treatment center (CTC), in-patient and out-patient psychiatric facilities, housing and treatment for inmates identified with AIDS/HIV, and the Department of Mental Health (DMF) operating as a licensed psychiatric hospital (California Medical Facility, 2009).

The importance of health care in the region is manifested by the fact that California spends $1 billion each year to provide healthcare to inmates. The demographic situation in both facilities considered is vital for an understanding of their role in the health care system. The population of CDCR equals 1721,085 people, among whom there are 93.3% males, 6.7% females, 26% white, 39.5% Latinos, and 29.1% Blacks (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 2009). California Medical Facility differs in its demographics quantitatively, only 2, 817 inmates, and qualitatively, as the majority of the inmates are Black and Latino with an average age of 37 (California Medical Facility, 2009).

The lifestyle of the people in prison affects considerably their further lives and activities. As Berkowitz (2006) defines it, “lifestyle is the manner in which people live as demonstrated by how they spend their time, what they think and the interests they have”. Obviously, the lifestyle is affected by the socio-cultural elements of a person’s environment defined by Berkowitz (2006) as “family life cycle, social class, reference groups and culture”. Accordingly, the socio-cultural elements that surround the people in prison do not include the family life cycle but have gangs instead (Wellness Proposals, 2002). Having no contact with the family or relatives, the imprisoned people from gangs have to have support. As Berkowitz (2006) states, gangs, serve “as the main factor of influence in the prison serving as the basis of the prisoners’ connections”.

Drawing from this, it becomes especially significant for health care and rehabilitation facilities like CDCR or California Medical Facility to employ the staff aware of the socio-cultural, value-oriented, and language peculiarities of the people from prisons and correctional facilities (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 2009).

The work of the medical, health care, and rehabilitation facilities should also be put in accordance with racial peculiarities of health. Thus for example, according to the data from the California Medical Center (2009), “Latinos and Blacks are predisposed to diseases such as diabetes, renal failure, heart disease and high cholesterol”. Other racial groups might have other peculiarities and the facilities should be aware of them.

The best level of such awareness is provided by the most updated equipment, and according to this point, California Medical Facility is currently the best of the kind in California as CMF has the only hospice facility for inmates with terminal diseases and a number of other departments absent from other organizations (California Medical Facility, 2009).

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Based on the aforesaid advantages, the CMF has the best reputation in the area due to its comprehensive services and quite an innovative approach to health care. CMF is preferred due to its addressing health care needs, rather than health care problems, dealing with drug abuse issues and mental illnesses, rather than ordinary disorders (California Medical Facility, 2009).

The image of the CMF is further developed by the activities that include the so-called “Family Night” allowing the inmates to meet their families, relatives, and close friends. This option allows the facility to achieve a better atmosphere among the inmates and facilitates the popularity of the CMF in California (California Medical Facility, 2009). The educational focus of the CMF also contributes to its positive social image. The community meetings that the CMF carried out on the regular basis helped the CMF inmates to keep in touch with the social developments taking place outside the facility and keep up with those developments easier after leaving the CMF.

So, to sum up, the health care system for the inmates of correctional and rehabilitation facilities in California is carried out through the joint and coordinated work of the CMF and CDCR. The former organization provides health care services, while the latter is in charge of assessing their quality. The information serves as the basis for every activity of the two organizations. Any innovations, like the opening of the new department of the CMF for instance, are carried out based on the recent reports of statistical services. The numbers of people that apply for careers in either CMF or CDCR prove that the organizations structure their work properly and do their best to promote their positive image in society.


Berkowitz, E. N. (2006). Essentials of health care marketing (2nd ed.). Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Bolton & Company (2002). Web.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (2009). Web.

California Medical Facility. (2009). Web.

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Finkler, S.A. & Ward, D.M. (2006). Accounting fundamentals for healthcare management. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Wellness Proposals (2002).

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