What do you have to do to lose a city contract?, some Philadelphia City Hall skeptics are asking after Corizon Health, which provides medical care for 8,600 Philly prison inmates, renewed its deal with the city for $42 million per year. The Philadelphia Daily News says the Tennessee-based firm has been dumped by Maryland’s system following abuses, grilled by investigators about years of negligent treatment in Idaho’s prisons, and criticized by lawmakers in Maine for failing to give medicine to thousands of sick inmates – all in the past year.
Philadelphia’s prisons almost split with the company 10 years ago, after harrowing tales of negligent care came to light, but declined to after the alternatives were deemed too expensive. Last summer, Corizon was nailed with an unprecedented $1.85 million settlement for passing money through a sham subcontractor to meet Philly’s minority-participation requirements. The city’s decision to keep doing business with the firm has confounded many observers, but none more so than Correctional Medical Care, or CMC, a competitor that offered to do the job for $3.5 million less per year.