In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 2, 2009 / 8 Shevat 5769

Prison or Versailles?

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Of course California's prison inmates are entitled to reasonable 21st-century health care. Unfortunately for taxpayers, Clark Kelso, the federal receiver in charge of California's prison health care has, as state Attorney General Jerry Brown noted at a news conference last week, a "gold-plated wish list" for California's prison health care system.

His Receivership wants to spend $8 billion to build seven new hospitals, each the size of 10 Wal-Marts, which would create "a holistic environment," with "music therapy, art therapy and other recreation therapy functions," a music room, stress-reduction room, game room and "therapy kitchen," with lots of natural light and high ceilings. A gymnasium would feature a "full-size high school playing court with basketball hoops and built-in edge seating up to four rows deep. Various floor striping allows for other games, such as volleyball, etc. Other sport activities include handball courts, exercise, and (a) workout room."

"The overarching value" of Plan Kelso is to create "a health care facility that cares for prisoners as patients and not a prison that cares for health care needs as inmates." No surprise: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates the annual cost of operating these facilities to be between $170,000 and $230,000 per inmate.

The amazing part: California politicians were going along with the plan until Wednesday, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brown filed a motion asking U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson to replace Kelso with a special master.

Like hell, His Receivership's plans were paved with good intentions. When Henderson stepped in, he wrote in 2005, California's prison medical care system was so broken that "an inmate in one of California's prisons needlessly (died) every six to seven days." Henderson found that in some facilities, hygiene was optional and staffers were substandard. A San Quentin dentist wouldn't even wash his hands or change gloves between patients. I'm tough on crime, but that's criminal and unacceptable.

Henderson's remedies, however, have had their problems, as well. The first receiver, Robert Sillen, once threatened to "back up the Brinks truck" to the state's treasury to bankroll better inmate care — and he clearly meant it. Sillen was paid $775,790 in the 15 months, ending in June 2007. An audit found no fraud, but it found that Sillen authorized $218,790 in overpayments to staff members for such benefits as health insurance and retirement that they already had received.

Henderson fired Sillen and then hired Kelso, who set his own annual salary at $224,000 — plus a possible bonus. The Schwarzenegger-Brown motion complains that Kelso's "large staff and $74 million in administrative expenses" are duplicative and amount to a full-scale takeover of the state prison health care system.

In the meantime, health care spending per inmate rose from $7,601 per inmate in 2005-06 to $13,778 per inmate in 2007-08 — an 81 percent increase and far above the average of $4,600 spent on health care per Californian. Kelso boasts of "an influx of new physicians and nurses" — including 172 board-certified physicians, 488 registered nurses and 533 licensed vocational nurses — in part because of big salary increases. The number of inmate deaths has fallen dramatically, from 124 in the first quarter of 2006 to 87 in the second quarter of 2008. The number of "preventable" deaths fell to three in 2007. At the news conference, California's corrections secretary, Matt Cate, credited the receiver for such improvements.

With all those gains, I wondered, doesn't that mean His Receivership can drop the building plans? Kelso thinks not. He told me over the telephone Thursday that he believes the $13,778 number is inflated by the inclusion of correctional officer salaries. Also, he argued that costs for dental and mental health — which he took on to help the Corrections Department — drove up the costs. If he eliminated mental health, he could reduce the up-to-$230,000-per-inmate estimate substantially. And come to think of it, maybe he'll throw mental health back to the state.

While mortality and preventable deaths are down, "possibly preventable deaths" are up. "We're up about 15 to 20 percent through our Turnaround Plan," he said, which suggests his plans are too ambitious.

I think the "holistic" language was a mistake. He countered, "You're right about that." Kelso rightly closed in noting, "These people are not animals" — and doctors should treat them as patients. But his operation is completely out of touch with fiscal realities. As state Finance Director Mike Genest noted, with Schwarzenegger trying to fill a $41.6 billion budget hole, "We're having to cut back everywhere." But Kelso is all plus signs.

And His Receivership doesn't quite understand the population he serves. The yoga/music therapy/handball/landscaping — that's right, I forgot to mention the landscaping to give facilities that retreat feeling — approach fails to recognize that 47 percent of California's inmates are repeat violent offenders.

They aren't animals, but they aren't entitled to facilities that far exceed those available to the average law-abiding taxpayer. As Brown noted, California is spending "almost three times what the federal government is spending, more than two times what the average Californian gets. When is enough enough?"

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© 2009, Creators Syndicate