The $20 million Suffolk County, Ma., House of Correction is filled with 270 immigrants on an average day, bringing in $10 million a year in federal funding. Now it is facing scrutiny about its medical care after the Oct. 19 death of Dominican immigrant Pedro Tavarez, of a heart attack at age 49. the Boston Globe reports. The Globe was prohibited from interviewing detainees because of privacy rules at the jail, and Suffolk officials would not answer direct questions about Tavarez's care.
As a result, the portrait of medical care at Suffolk conflicts sharply: Jail officials say they have highly rated medical facilities that provide care as quickly as possible; detainees said in federal court that Tavarez asked for help three times and was not treated until detainees found him soaked in sweat and shivering in his bunk. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts says it has received several reports about delays in care at the facility. Suffolk provides round-the-clock medical care through a private contractor, Tennessee-based Prison Health Services Inc.