New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would not renew the contract of Corizon Health Inc. to provide medical care at the Rikers Island jail complex, the New York Times reports. The decision ends the company's troubled 15-year history at the city's jails, and it highlights the enormous challenge of providing quality health care to Rikers inmates.
Yesterday, the city's Department of Investigation reported that the company had hired doctors and mental health workers with disciplinary problems and criminal convictions, including for murder and kidnapping. It said missteps by Corizon employees may have contributed to at least two recent inmate deaths. The city has tried repeatedly to replace the company with a nonprofit hospital or health care provider, but had difficulty persuading anyone even to submit a bid, according to current and former government officials. Taking Corizon's place will be the Health and Hospitals Corporation, which oversees New York's public hospitals. Corizon strongly disputed the findings by the Investigation Department, blaming correction and health agencies for any lapses.