Two involuntary 72-hour commitments to psychiatric wards followed. The medical board, which licenses all doctors in California, placed Rohlfing on probation for five years, the board's records show. In August 2000, while still on probation, Rohlfing began working on a limited basis for High Desert State Prison in Lassen County in northeastern California. The state hired him full time in May 2003. Two years later, after the death of an inmate in his care, Rohlfing's clinical privileges were revoked, effectively removing him from the practice of medicine.
Documents obtained by The Times show that one in five prison doctors has been disciplined by the California Medical Board or sued for malpractice -- a rate almost five times that found statewide.Some physicians working behind bars have histories of criminal convictions, cocaine or alcohol addiction and a loss of privileges at hospitals, records show.