Nearly two-thirds of the 15 doctors working full-time at Louisiana state prisons have been disciplined by the state medical board for issues ranging from pedophilia to substance abuse to dealing methamphetamines, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Two have served federal prison time. Five are still on probation with the medical board and have restrictions on their licenses, including bans on prescribing controlled substances. Altogether, nine have received the rare black mark of a board sanction.
The paper says state prisons appear to be dumping grounds for doctors who are unable to find employment elsewhere because of their checkered pasts. At stake is the health of nearly 19,000 prisoners. About 60 percent of the state’s prison doctors have disciplinary records, compared with 2 percent of the state’s 16,000 or so licensed medical doctors, according to data from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. The medical board is aware of the prison pipeline. In fact, a board-employed headhunter has sometimes helped problem doctors get prison jobs.