Data Show Prison Doctors At Top Of State Pay Scale

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Doctors, dentists and psychiatrists with the federal receiver’s office overseeing inmate medical care are the highest paid state employees in California, according to government salary data the state controller’s office released Tuesday.

Two prison doctors make more than $700,000 a year. Dozens of other prison medical personnel, some with the Department of Mental Health, make more than $300,000 a year.

A top official with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection makes $309,000 annually.

The controller’s office began requesting the data in response to the compensation scandal in the Los Angeles County city of Bell. Residents there voted the entire city council out of office in March after learning that council members and other top officials were giving themselves enormous salaries and pensions.

The top four are two doctors, a dentist and a psychologist, all working for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who were paid salaries ranging from $777,323 — highest in the state — to $582,609.

They were followed by the chief risk officer for the State Compensation Insurance Fund, California’s largest provider of workers’ compensation, at $561,072.

The information is available on a website that shows salary ranges as well as actual compensation in calendar year 2010, said Hallye Jordan, spokeswoman for Controller John Chiang. It lets users see the employees’ true earnings, including overtime, bonuses, and if they cashed in vacation time or sick leave, she said.

“There are people who are making more than the maximum salary (range),” Jordan said, by the time additional income is added to their base salaries.

All five of the top-paid state employees earned more than the maximum salary listed for their position.

They are followed by the chief investment officer for the California Public Employees Retirement System, who was paid $548,142 last year in a job with a maximum listed salary of $612,000.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Ron

    There is absolutely NO REASON for a taxpayer supported employee should make anyway near $500,000 to over $700,000/yr. This is why it is known that the California Prison System is a total(huge)waste of taxpayer money. And if these doctors are anywhere near as good as their pay indicates, then why the HELL are they giving the BEST medical care to prison INMATES and NOT we taxpayers. Most of us can’t afford to pay for these kind of doctor’s fees for ourselves or our families.

    This is another reason why we need to send our prisoners out of state, where it can be done at a much lower price. Then we would NOT have to pay the outrageous pay, benefits and OUTLANDISH pensions.

    Time for a good old BOSTON like-TEA PARTY in the State of California, to BUST the UNIONS and send the union supported politicians packing !!!!

    • Saber 1

      Doctors hapeended to have stayed inschool, in the public sector, they would command and get alot more money.

      • Ron

        NOT on MY dime or many other taxpayer’s dime, either.

  • upyours

    All the pu$$y voters that listened to the whiny alarmist legislators with their tough on crime agenda so they could get re-elected under “public safety” interests can f*ck off. You guaranteed these outrageous salaries, and hey, the inmates will be getting better health care than most of you since the feds took over.

  • Average Doc


    These are not outrageous salaries. Salaries in the private sector for these positions can be higher, albeit, not on tax payers dime.

    I’m a private practice internist and I’ll take home about 560,000k this year. Hey, I work hard. In summary, going to school pays. Just like that after school special use to say way back when.

    • Ron

      Average Doc, I’m happy for you, if you will be working in the private sector, but the salaries in the PUBLIC sector are excessive(because we support them)and as I said above, prisoners are getting better care then we are, at OUR expense.

      And many of us did go to college, got degrees and still can’t get a full time job, in this economy. But you made a very wise choice.

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