health care

Pew Study Calls for Better Monitoring of Prison Health Care

State corrections authorities spend more than $8 billion a year on health care programs for prisoners, but are they cost-effective? A study by Pew Charitable Trusts says the aging of America’s prison population adds renewed urgency to monitoring—and improving—efforts to treat prisoners’ special health needs both during and after incarceration.

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Corizon Health Opts Out Of $1.1B FL Inmate Health Contract After Criticism

After two years of complaints about health care in Florida’s prisons, Corizon Health, the private company that has been responsible for the largest share of inmate care, has decided not to renew its $1.1 billion contract with the state, leaving the future of care for 74,000 inmates in limbo when the company pulls out in six months, reports the Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times bureau in Tallahassee. The decision by the Tennessee-based company to terminate the contract that was scheduled to […]


At Least 38 States Charge Prisoners Co-Pays For Medical Care

Going to prison doesn't spare patients from having to pay medical copays. In response to the rapidly rising cost of providing health care, states are increasingly authorizing the collection of fees from prisoners for medical services they get in state prisons or local jails. At least 38 states now do it, says the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law and Stateline. The fees are typically small, $20 or less. States must waive them when a […]


NYC To Drop Corizon Health’s Rikers Contract Amid Criticism

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 […]


Scathing Report Describes Poor Health Care In Illinois Prisons

A scathing report by court-approved researchers paints a bleak picture of Illinois prison medical care, describing treatment delays, haphazard follow-up care, chaotic record keeping and a litany of other problems that may have cut short the lives of some inmates, reports the Associated Press. The 405-page report, which the Illinois Department of Corrections disputed, was filed yesterday in federal court in Chicago in a class-action suit against the agency, which oversees 49,000 inmates statewide. The report concludes that “Illinois has […]


Corizon Performance At Rikers Only “Fair,” City May Assume Health Care

The performance of Corizon Health Inc., the private health care provider for New York City’s jails, failed to improve last year amid heightened scrutiny over inmate deaths that put the company’s contract under review, says an evaluation obtained by The Associated Press. Corizon, whose three-year, $126 million contract expires Dec. 31, received an overall rating of “fair” in 2014 for the second straight year after being downgraded from “good,” says an annual review conducted by the city health department. Officials […]


Feds Spend $1 Billion On Inmate Health Care, With 31,000 Over 50

Harsh sentencing policies, including mandatory minimums, continue to have lasting consequences for inmates and the prison system, says the Washington Post. Inmates 50 and older are the fastest-growing population in crowded federal correctional facilities, their numbers up 25 percent to nearly 31,000 from 2009 to 2013. Some prisons have needed to set up geriatric wards, while others have effectively been turned into convalescent homes. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons saw health-care expenses for inmates increase 55 percent from 2006 to […]


The Lessons of Ferguson

The events in Ferguson, MO that set off a national firestorm over aggressive policing in African-American communities shouldn't have come as a surprise, Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte said yesterday. “Nobody should be shocked about Ferguson,” Forte told the Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. “We have a great relationship in Kansas City, but I think it could happen (here), we're not out of the woods.” […]


40% Of State, Federal Prison, Jail Inmates Have Chronic Medical Conditions

An estimated 40 percent of state and federal prisoners and jail inmates reported having a current chronic medical condition in a 2011–12 survey, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today. The agency defined chronic conditions as those involving persistent health problems with long-lasting effects, including noninfectious medical problems, such as cancer, high blood pressure, stroke-related problems, diabetes, heart-related problems, kidney-related problems, arthritis, asthma and cirrhosis of the liver. About a fifth of prisoners and 14 percent of jail inmates […]