Corizon Inc. Is the name of the company that Alabama uses for their privatized prison healthcare. Apparently this company is in quite the pickle but more on that later.
Alabama is one of, what I suspect is every state having privatized any portion of their incarceration system, the state's with abysmal conditions regarding inmate treatment.
The SPLC investigated their medical system and again we see appalling inhumane conditions. Conditions a parent would be imprisoned for if their child were so neglected.
“When a person is sentenced to prison, they are not stripped of their humanity and they are not sentenced to the pain, agony or death that can result from the lack of health care,” said Maria Morris, the report’s lead author and managing attorney of the SPLC’s Montgomery legal office. “Whenever Alabama determines a person must be incarcerated, it must accept the legal – and moral – responsibility that comes from imprisoning a human being.”These are human beings the state is letting rot in prison. Might as well just throw them into a dungeon and toss them orts.
It was led by the SPLC’s Morris, who, before joining the SPLC, represented prisoners with mental illness as part of a lawsuit that ultimately resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court upholding a federal court order requiring California to address its prison overcrowding.Custody is a word we need to relearn apparently.
The Alabama investigation found numerous examples of conditions that threaten the health and lives of prisoners:
A prisoner who had survived prostate cancer had a blood test indicating his cancer had probably returned, but no follow-up test was given until a year and a half later. By that time, the cancer had spread to his bones and was terminal. He died less than a year later, in February 2014.
A prisoner undergoing dialysis died after he was given an injection of a substance that sent him into cardiac arrest in January 2014. Although there was a cart stocked with emergency medical equipment in the dialysis unit, no one present knew how to use it.
A prisoner incarcerated eight years ago after being shot in the groin had been told at the time of the shooting that he would have a catheter and a colostomy bag for six months before having surgery to repair damage from the gunshot. Almost a decade later, he has not had the surgery. He is in constant pain, sometimes urinating blood.
Numerous prisoners have had toes, feet or portions of legs amputated as a result of poor diabetes care. Some diabetic prisoners have reported that they have not had their blood sugar measured in months.
The investigation also found the prisons to be severely understaffed. As of March 2014, the ADOC had 25,055 prisoners in in-house custody. Yet there are only the equivalent of 15.2 full-time doctors and 12.4 dentists to treat prisoners. A doctor’s average caseload is a staggering 1,648 patients, and a dentist’s is more than 2,000 patients, according to the report. Some facilities do not have full-time doctors or dentists.
The investigation found that numerous prisoners have been placed under “do not resuscitate” or “allow natural death” orders without their consent or knowledge. In addition, psychiatric medication is often stopped or changed without discussion between the psychiatrist and the patient.
But more on Corizon Inc. Moody's has repeatedly downgraded them in the past for poor performance. So if the inmates are not receiving care. And the company isn't profitable.
Where is the money the states are paying for inmate care going?
In the article linked below state after state is listed with severe problems relating to outright medical neglect in most cases. The piece I excerpted ends on an admission these privatization schemes are in part based on making legal liability murky for those victimized.
According to Corizon’s website, the company provides healthcare services at over 530 correctional facilities serving approximately 378,000 prisoners in 28 states. In addition, Corizon employs around 14,000 staff members and contractors. The company’s corporate headquarters is located in Brentwood, Tennessee and its operational headquarters is in St. Louis, Missouri.I'm sorry greedheads for profit is not always better. The states are spending the same amount if not more. And our incarceration system resembles an abattoir.
The 2011 merger that created Corizon involved Valitás Health Services, the parent company of CMS, and America Service Group, the parent company of PHS. The Nashville Business Journal reported the deal was valued at $250 million.
“Corizon’s vision is firmly centered around service – to our clients, our patients and our employees,” Campbell said at the time. “To that we add the insight of unparalleled experience assisting our client partners, and caring professionals serving the unique healthcare needs of [incarcerated] patients.”
Corizon has around $1.5 billion in annual revenue and contracts to provide medical services for the prison systems in 13 states. The company also contracts with numerous cities and counties to provide healthcare to prisoners held in local jails; some of Corizon’s larger municipal clients include Atlanta, Philadelphia and New York City (including the Rikers Island jail). Additionally, the company has its own in-house pharmacy division, PharmaCorr, Inc.
The prison healthcare market has flourished as state Departments of Corrections and local governments seek ways to save money and reduce exposure to litigation. [See: PLN, May 2012, p.22]. Only a few major companies dominate the industry. Corizon’s competitors include Wexford Health Sources, Armor Correctional Health Services, NaphCare, Correct Care Solutions and Centurion Managed Care – the latter being a joint venture of MHM Services and Centene Corporation. Around 20 states outsource all or some of the medical services in their prison systems.
As Corizon is privately held, there is little transparency with respect to its internal operations and financial information, including costs of litigation when prisoners (or their surviving family members) sue the company, often alleging inadequate medical care.