Source: Wes Ferguson, Community Impact Newspaper, November 13, 2012
Hays County is considering whether to privatize the medical care it provides to jail inmates.
On Nov. 13, the Commissioners Court voted unanimously to solicit proposals from outside vendors. The contractor would administer a range of medical treatments and routine care, administering health screenings for new inmates, managing prescriptions and other medication, and referring patients to outside medical facilities when appropriate, among numerous other responsibilities specified in the county’s proposal request documents.
Source: Aviva Shen, Think Progress, October 15, 2012
Ohio has saved millions in the past three fiscal years since the state revamped its prison health care system and replaced contracted doctors with in-prison medical staff, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. A new report by the nonpartisan Correctional Institution Inspection Committee found the state bought nearly 300,000 fewer prescriptions for inmates in 2011 than in 2009. Ohio has been an experimental ground for prison reform after a lawsuit in 2003 alleged that the abysmal medical care in prisons amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Since the lawsuit, the corrections department has been supervised by a federal court as they restructured health care operations and policy in state prisons. This summer, the court ruled Ohio’s new system is constitutionally compliant. The reduction in prescriptions is largely due to the installment of new in-prison doctors…
Source: Steve Bousquet, Miami Herald, July 1, 2012
Florida planning additional prison privatization
Source: Bill Kaczor, Associated Press, June 26, 2012
As the Department of Corrections confirmed plans Tuesday to privatize 20 work release centers across Florida, a separate proposal to outsource prison inmate health care services was the focus of a legal dispute in a Tallahassee courtroom…. The state will not necessarily save money by privatizing the work release centers, but it will help advance Gov. Rick Scott’s goal of creating private sector jobs, Howard said. She said the department expects to request proposals from private firms by mid-July and complete the transition in the new calendar year. When privatization is complete, only one work release facility — the Sago Palm Re-entry Center in Palm Beach County — would remain under state operation.
Source: Paul McEnroe, Star Tribune, June 24, 2012
Citing “protocols,” a nurse turned away an ambulance despite multiple seizures. … Yet events in the hours before Johnson was found “pulseless” in his cell raise questions about denial of care because of the rationed-care philosophy of the for-profit contractor Minnesota has hired to care for the state’s 9,400 prisoners. Corizon Inc., formerly known as Correctional Medical Services, has had a contract with the state since 1998, worth $28 million this year….One of the contract’s major cost-saving provisions says that Corizon is not required to provide overnight medical staff in the state’s prisons, except Oak Park Heights and Faribault, where medically complicated, elderly and terminally ill prisoners are held….
Source: Private Corrections Working Group (PCWG), 2012
The mission of the Private Corrections Working Group (PCWG) is to provide information and assistance to citizens, policy makers, and journalists concerning the dangers and pitfalls of privatization of correctional institutions and services in order to reverse and stop this social injustice.
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Source: Greg Bolt, Register-Guard Tuesday, May 29, 2012
A national health care company is preparing to take over the job of providing medical services at the Lane County Jail in one of several county government moves aimed at reducing costs at the lockup.
Corizon Inc. won a two-year contract to take over as the jail’s medical provider and is expected to have its staff on the job about July 1. The final cost to the county is being renegotiated to take into account recent decisions to downsize the jail, but officials expect the deal to save as much as $650,000 a year….
…The jail took on another private contractor last fall when national food service company ABL Management took over the jail kitchen, which is expected to save about $400,000….
Source: Mary Wilson, WHYY, May 15, 2012
Opponents exhale as state drops plan to privatize prison nurses
Source: Mary Wilson, WITF, 15 May 2012
Pennsylvania Corrections Department eyes privatizing nursing services
Source: Morning Call, March 10, 2012
The Pennsylvania Department Of Corrections is soliciting bids to privatize the agency’s corps of prison nurses, Corrections Secretary John Wetzel told a state House panel last week. The agency won’t make a decision on the nurses until at least this summer, and right now it’s soliciting the bids mostly for the purposes of comparison, Wetzel said in an interview after his annual budget pitch. …. The Corrections Department already has contractors performing all medical services except nursing and medical records.
Source: Aaron Edwards, Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), April 19, 2012
…Significant changes have been made to the state’s inmate medical care program since it was placed under Receivership in 2006. In determining how to transition the responsibility for managing the program back to state control, the state should focus on two keys to long-term success: (1) creating independent oversight of the program, and (2) controlling inmate medical costs. Based on our review of experiences in other states, we therefore recommend that the state create an independent board to provide oversight and evaluation of the inmate medical care program, take steps to address current operational efficiencies to bring state expenditures to a more sustainable level, and establish a pilot project to contract for medical care services. …
Source: Bob Ortega, Arizona Republic News, April 03, 2012
Arizona’s Department of Corrections awarded a $349 million, three-year contract Tuesday to privatize health care for prison inmates that will cost the state $5 million a year more than it spent in 2011. The contract to privatize prison health care — originally pushed by Rep. John Kavanagh as a way to save the state money — was awarded to privately held Wexford Health Sources Inc. of Pittsburgh. Wexford, which has previously lost contracts for poor service and was implicated in a 2008 payoff scandal in Illinois, bid $116.3million a year, $1.1million less than the second-place bid by Corizon Inc. of Brentwood, Tenn.
Source: Michigan Corrections Organization (MCO), SEIU, the UAW, AFSCME, and MSEA, February 15, 2012
From the press release:
Legislators’ Rush to Privatize Prisons Will Benefit Corporation, Not Michigan Taxpayers. A new Report recommends caution due to lack of cost savings, contractor’s troubled record. Legislators should investigate the failed promises of prison privatization in Michigan and other states before rushing to pass proposals under consideration, state corrections officers familiar with the issues said today in releasing comprehensive research about risks to taxpayers and dangers to residents.