Weekly Update: May 10, 2022

COCHS Weekly Update: May 10, 2022

Highlighted Stories

KPCC Recording: California Has Medical Parole – So Why Aren’t Patients Receiving Care?
Dan Mistak, Acting President of COCHS, comments on California’s medical parole program transferring patient to a non-certified medical facility so that the public safety needs of these terminal ill patients are perceived as more important than their health care needs --scroll down the linked page to listen to Dan's comments.

LAist: Medical Parole Got Them Out Of State Prison. Now They're In A Decertified Nursing Home
Medical parole patients are among the most vulnerable in California’s corrections system. The program was intended to help with overcrowding and lower the costs of caring for chronically ill patients, in part, by shifting costs from the state to the federal government. Golden Legacy Care Center house nearly every California medical parole patient. The federal government revoked Golden Legacy’s certification. CMS deemed it one of the most troubled facilities in the nation. Inspectors visiting the facility had documented serious issues, including a resident cuffed to a bed and several violations of patient care.

Health Affairs: Aging In Jail
There are currently more adults age fifty-five or older incarcerated in the United States than ever before. People in this age group accounted for 4 percent of admissions to the jails in 2009, ten years before the study’s end date; 7 percent of admissions in 2015, when the study began; and 8.5 percent of admissions by 2019. They were more likely to report being homeless; suffer from a serious mental illness designation; carry a higher burden of chronic, infectious, and serious medical illnesses; be hospitalized during their incarceration; and die in jail custody than their younger counterparts.

Department of Justice: Mortality in a Multi-State Cohort of Former State Prisoners, 2010-2015
The data analyzed are from state prison releases recorded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS’) National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP), which were linked to the Census Numident to identify deaths that occurred within 5 years from prison release. NCRP records were also linked to previous decennial censuses and survey responses. The data analysis found that non-Hispanic white former prisoners were more likely to die within 5 years after prison release, and they were more likely to die in the initial weeks after release compared to racial minorities and Hispanics.


BJA: Making Second Chances Work: Reentry from Incarceration
In this podcast, two people who not only have studied reentry from incarceration but experienced it themselves offer their unique perspectives.

NIJ: Desistance: It's a Process, Not an Event
Desistance is the process of individuals ceasing engagement in criminal activity. It may sound simple but it is quite complex, and the more we understand it, the better equipped we are to help accelerate the process before people are incarcerated or once they leave prison or jail. NIJ Journal Editor Beth Pearsall hosts a conversation on this topic


Managed Healthcare: Fixing the Coverage Gap After Incarceration
The federal Medicaid Reentry Act would permit Medicaid to cover people starting 30 days before they are to be released. Advocates and public health officials say that would mean a smoother transition and increase the chances that recently incarcerated people will receive the medical services they need. But the Reentry Act could have some unintended consequences. Would prisons and jails put off medical care until the 30-day period before release so the cost would fall on a Medicaid program?

Rising Mortality

Daily Beast: Cops Charged After Horrific Bodycam Shows Unarmed Black Man Shot With Hands Up
Two Lawton, Oklahoma cops were charged with first-degree manslaughter on Friday after they fatally shot an unarmed Black man who was complying with their orders to get on the ground and had his hands raised. Comanche County District Attorney Kyle Cabelka said his office had determined that the shooting of Quadry Sanders by Officers Robert Hinkle and Nathan Ronan was unjustified “after review of the entire case file.”

US News & World Report: Man Held at NC Jail Dies After 'Medical Emergency'
A man being held in a North Carolina jail has died after what a sheriff's office calls a “medical emergency.” He is the third person to die in the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in 2022. Three died in 2021, the newspaper reported. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said deaths in custody have risen significantly since 2011, when there were 17 deaths. Last year, there were 68.

ABC 10: CDCR investigates death of Sacramento prison inmate Camilo Banoslopez as a homicide
Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) are investigating after they say 22-year-old Sacramento Prison inmate Camilo Banoslopez was killed after being attacked by other inmates Friday. Authorities say around 11:30 a.m. Friday, Banoslopez was attacked on the recreation yard at Folsom's California State Prison, Sacramento by four other inmates.

Olympian: Thurston County Jail inmate dies after two days in custody, Sheriff’s Office says
An inmate in the Thurston County Jail died according to a press release from the Thurston County Sheriff. Corrections staff were notified of a medical emergency in one of the county jail’s housing areas. On-site medical staff and correctional officers found an inmate unresponsive in his cell.


Stat News: Prisons didn’t prescribe much Paxlovid or other Covid-19 treatments, even when they got the drugs
Federal prisons used just a fraction of the antiviral drugs they were allocated to keep incarcerated people from getting seriously ill or dying of Covid-19, according to new internal records from the Bureau of Prisons. Prison officials have only prescribed 363 doses of antivirals since the first such drug proven to work, Gilead’s remdesivir.

VT Digger: Chittenden women’s prison reports apparent Covid outbreak
The Vermont women’s prison in South Burlington had 16 incarcerated individuals and five staff members test positive within the past month, leading the Vermont Department of Corrections to reimplement Covid restrictions — but not to put it into lockdown, in contrast with previous policy.

Rikers Island

New York Times: He’s In Charge of Fixing Rikers Island. His Plan Is Due in 11 Days.
When Louis A. Molina became commissioner of New York City’s Department of Correction just over four months ago, the Rikers Island complex was in a deepening crisis. The actions of past city officials, jail bosses and union officials had laid the groundwork for years of disorder and violence. Now, Mr. Molina has less than two weeks to present a detailed solution for a problem no other commissioner has solved, or risk a federal takeover of the jail.

New York Times: Man, 25, Is the Fourth Inmate to Die at Rikers This Year
A 25-year-old homeless man is believed to have committed suicide at the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City on Saturday evening, according to people familiar with the case. The man, Dashawn Carter, was found hanging from a window in his cell at the Anna M. Kross Center just two days after being transferred back to Rikers from a state psychiatric hospital.


The Lens: House committee advances bill creating prison medical oversight panel
A state House committee on Tuesday unanimously voted to advance a bill to create a medical advisory panel to oversee healthcare in the state prison system. But amendments adopted by the committee would place prison officials, rather than outside doctors, on the panel and remove some of the panel’s authority. According to Bruce Reilly, deputy director of Voice of the Experienced, a criminal justice reform organization that worked on the bill, the changes in the bill were due to objections from the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

Police Training

Reuters: U.S. police trainers with far-right ties are teaching hundreds of cops
On social media, Richard Whitehead is a warrior for the American right. He has praised extremist groups. He has called for public executions of government officials he sees as disloyal to former President Donald Trump. In a post in 2020, he urged law enforcement officers to disobey COVID-19 public-health orders from “tyrannical governors,” adding: “We are on the brink of civil war.” Whitehead also has a day job. He trains police officers around the United States.


The Crime Report: DOJ, Labor Dept Collaborate on Post-Prison Employment Strategy
The Biden administration is launching a comprehensive incarceration-to-employment strategy aimed at expanding hiring and advancement opportunities for formerly incarcerated persons. It involves a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor and a $145 million investment to provide job training at selected Bureau of Prisons locations and intensive individualized reentry support. Incarceration to Employment.

NIJ Funded Research: Damned if you do, damned if you don't: How formerly incarcerated men navigate the labor market with prison credentials
Although employment is central to successful reentry, formerly incarcerated people struggle to find work because of criminal stigma, poor education, and sparse work histories. Prison credentials are proposed as one solution to alleviate these challenges by signaling criminal desistance and employability. Evidence regarding their efficacy, however, is inconsistent. Participants concealed or obscured institutional affiliations of prison credentials on job applications to signal employability rather than their criminal records.

Yahoo News: Do the Crime, Do the Time—and Then Pay the Price
Returning to society after incarceration is tough for many reasons—the search for housing, employment, and access to public benefits that help people rebuild their lives can all be hard to come by. For felony defendants, fees and fines that linger after release can be added to that list. Each felony conviction in Washington state is accompanied by an average of $1,300 in financial sanctions victims’ restitution, to recoup criminal justice system costs, and augmented punishment. Every state allows courts to fine defendants in addition to their incarceration.

Criminal Justice's Detrimental Impact On Mental Health

Slate: Want to Fix Mental Health in Jails?
Carceral policymakers and administrators like to say that “rehabilitation” is their goal. You might think that any genuine attempts at “rehabilitation” would embrace mental health care treatment, but that’s not the case on the ground. During my tenure in jails, I lost count of how many times someone from mental health care management told me, “We don’t provide treatment here.” But if that’s the case, then what are we doing?

New York Times: Ex-Officer Gets 5 Years for Assaulting Woman With Dementia During Arrest
A former Colorado police officer was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of parole on Thursday for assaulting a 73-year-old woman with dementia while arresting her on suspicion of shoplifting around $14 worth of items from a Walmart.

Oklahoman: Why solitary confinement should be banned practice in Oklahoma prisons
Prisoners begin to be not only a prisoner of the state but also a prisoner of their minds. If inmates did not have mental health problems before, they are more than likely to have developed one while in solitary confinement, L. A. Rhodes wrote in the American Journal of Public Health. Prisoners have been seen to suffer from anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptoms, hallucinations, memory loss, psychosis and violent fantasies

Mental Health Initiatives in Criminal Justice

Orange County Florida: Keeping Mentally Ill Offenders Out of Jail Critical in Improving Health System of Care
In May 2021, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and the Board of County Commissioners tasked the Heart of Florida United Way to get with thought leaders to study the mental and behavioral health care system in Orange County. The task force unveiled a comprehensive report to divert the mentally ill from going to jail, rather than getting the help they need. Titled Orange County Mental and Behavioral Health System of Care Community Analysis.

Correctional Health Vendors

WFTS: 10 vendors vie for Florida Dept. of Corrections healthcare contract worth hundreds of millions
The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) is looking at other companies to treat inmates in its care. Florida taxpayers have footed the bill for millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements. Four years ago, a Virginia-based company, Centurion, was the only bidder for the $375 million contract to provide healthcare to the third largest state prison system in the country.

The Virginian Pilot: Norfolk city jail psychiatrist resigns amid ‘out of control’ prescription drug abuse from jail-issued medications
The Norfolk City Jail’s psychiatrist resigned last week amid what he described as rampant prescription drug abuse fueled by the excessive distribution of medications to inmates. Dr. Matthew Sachs, a contractor for the jail’s third-party health provider, Wellpath, resigned April 29 after six months on the job.

Cision: Monterey County Jail and WellPath Sued Once Again For Alleged Wrongful Death of Inmate
Attorneys for the family of Carlos Patino Regalado filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Monterey County Jail and Wellpath after Carlos was found dead as the result of suicide stemming from alleged negligent care by the facility and staff. Carlos was taken on and off suicide watch on several occasions before his death, according to the complaint. The jail and Wellpath have been on notice for years regarding the dangers of putting someone like Carlos in an isolated cell with hanging points, but they just keep doing it.

Concord Monitor: With promises of safeguards, Nashville company with problematic history gets $52M contract to care for N.H. kids
Despite prior allegations of poor quality of care and abuse by Wellpath Recovery Solutions in other states, the Executive Council is awarding the company $52 million to help staff a children’s psychiatric facility in New Hampshire, after top state officials assured councilors that safeguards will be put in place.