Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Region 2 News Release: Press Release, BOS 2015-135, July 1, 2015
Corizon Health Inc., which provides medical, dental and mental-health services to inmates at correctional facilities nationwide, including the Rikers Island facility in New York City, will implement changes to reduce workplace violence hazards for employees at its locations.
Part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, the changes resolve citations issued by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In August 2014, OSHA cited Corizon for failing to develop and implement an effective program to prevent workplace violence for its Rikers Island employees. Corizon initially contested the citations, but has withdrawn that contest as part of the settlement agreement.
After critical probe, NYC drops jail health care contractor
Source: Jake Pearson, Associated Press, June 11, 2015
New York City on Wednesday dropped the private company that delivers health care in its jails after a year of scrutiny over high-profile deaths of mentally ill inmates and a city probe that found the company hired felons and provided questionable care. Corizon Health Inc.’s contract, which is set to expire Dec. 31, won’t be renewed and instead the city’s public hospital system will run medical and mental health care for the roughly 70,000 inmates who pass through Rikers Island and other city jails every year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. …. The DOI report released Wednesday takes an in-depth look at Corizon’s hiring practices, concluding that its background checks of new hires – which in some cases were nonexistent – failed to fully account for prospective workers’ financial, criminal and professional histories, leaving them susceptible to corruption.
DOI Report Finds Significant Breakdowns by Corizon Health Inc. Failures in Employee Screening and Mental Health Treatment of Inmates in City Jails
Source: City of New York, Department of Investigation, Press Release, Release 16-2015, June 10, 2015
Today, Department of Investigation (“DOI”) Commissioner Mark G. Peters issued a critical review of Corizon Health Inc. (“Corizon”), a private company contracted by the City to provide medical and mental health services in Rikers Island jails. The Report highlighted acute failures in Corizon’s hiring processes and treatment of mentally ill inmates. The investigation also revealed the City’s Department of Correction (“DOC”) and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“DOHMH”), both responsible for supervising Corizon, failed to properly oversee the company’s hiring and supervision of clinical staff. DOI’s Report follows this release and can also be found at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doi/html/doireports/public.shtml …. DOI began its investigation after arresting a Corizon nurse in September 2014 and charging him with taking bribes to smuggle in tobacco and alcohol. Over the last six months, DOI investigators reviewed thousands of pages of documents and conducted surveillance of and site visits to 28 of 30 housing areas reserved for inmates needing mental health treatment. DOI found Corizon failed to provide adequate care to inmates, including improperly removing inmates from court-ordered suicide watch, failing to supervise inmates with serious mental illnesses, and poorly supervising inmates while they took medications, including psychiatric prescriptions. DOI’s Report found that two of these inmates died. One of those instances is now under criminal review by DOI and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office…….
Violence in the Workplace: American Horror Story
Source: Jordan Barab, National Law Review, August 18, 2014
The setting: Rikers Island correctional facility in New York City
The scene: A group of inmates gather around a cell where an employee has been locked in a cell, while other inmates pass around a ‘hit list’ of other employees they plan to target.
This is not a scene from a crime drama, like Oz or Law & Order, but rather the daily reality for a group of medical, dental and psychiatric professionals contracted by Corizon Health Inc. to provide services at Rikers Island. These employees are threatened, punched in the face, kicked and knocked unconscious with surprising and horrifying regularity. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were at Rikers to investigate incidents like the ones described above, an additional six reports of workplace violence were made. …
Corizon Health Cited for Inadequate Safeguards at Rikers Island
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, August 10, 2014
According to a DOL news release, Corizon Health Inc. knowingly failed to protect its employees adequately against workplace violence and assault. The medical, dental, and psychiatric provider was inspected by OSHA and new faces $71,000 in fines. OSHA has cited Corizon for one willful violation for allegedly failing to develop and implement an effective workplace violence prevention program for its employees at Rikers Island.
Rikers Health Contractor Fined for Worker Assaults
Source: Michael Schwirtz, New York Times, August 7, 2014
The New York City contractor that provides medical and mental health services to inmates at Rikers Island was issued the highest level of censure by the federal Labor Department on Thursday for failing to protect employees from violence at the jail complex. A six-month investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is overseen by the department, found that the contractor, Corizon Health Inc., “failed to address the serious problem of assaults against its employees,” Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York, said in a statement. The agency fined Corizon $71,000 and issued a “willful violation” against the company, because it was aware of the problem and failed to do anything about it, said Andre J. Bowser, a spokesman for the agency….
Corizon Health Inc. cited for inadequate workplace violence safeguards at Rikers Island correctional facility in New York – US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes $71,000 in fines
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Region 2 News Release: 14-1409-NEW, August 7, 2014
Corizon Health Inc., which provides medical, dental and psychiatric services to inmates at the Rikers Island correctional facility in New York City, knowingly failed to protect its employees adequately against workplace violence and assault, an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found. The company faces $71,000 in fines following an inspection by OSHA’s Manhattan Area Office that began Feb. 7, 2014, in response to a complaint.
OSHA cited Corizon for one willful violation for failing to develop and implement an effective workplace violence prevention program for its employees at Rikers. A willful violation is one committed with intentional or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.