Shaken by two violent escapes by prison inmates, a health care group that oversees a hospital in Laurel, Md., said it would no longer admit inmates as patients in nonemergencies until security procedures are tightened, reports the Baltimore Sun. The announcement came a day after state police said that Kelvin Poke, a Maryland inmate who was taken to Laurel Regional Hospital after complaining of chest pain, was being guarded by just one corrections officer and was not wearing handcuffs — two apparent violations of state policy.
Last Wednesday, Poke overpowered two officers, stole their guns, and fled in a vehicle he carjacked outside the hospital. He was killed seven hours later in a police shootout. State police and correctional officials are considering sweeping changes in how they get inmates medical care, reviewing standards in other states. Maryland makes 12,000 inmate medical transfers annually.