A VCU expert was asked to investigate whether Virginia should be buying prison health care. Researchers found that facilities near large metropolitan areas, like Richmond, have access to major hospitals while for prisons in rural areas, private contractors are a useful option. Dr. Carolyn Watts chair the Department of Health Administration at VCU led the study. She and her team visited seven prison facilities and talked to a variety of people.
30,000 Inmates, 40 Doctors: Health Care Remains A Concern At Virginia Prisons
Source: Sandy Hausman, WAMU, January 9, 2014
…In Virginia, the issue isn’t how many inmates the commonwealth has, but rather how they are cared for. A lawsuit over prison care is pending, and this year the General Assembly may consider more funding or reforms in how prison’s provide medical and mental health care to inmates… Amezquita says crowding is a problem, and she points to one other potential issue — care at many facilities is provided by a private company, Nashville-based Corizon, which has contracts for 500 prisons in 29 states including Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia….