Weekly Update: January 17, 2023

COCHS Weekly Update: January 17, 2023

State Roundup
US News & World Report: Lawsuit Filed Over Arkansas Jail Inmate's Malnutrition Death
The family of a man who died from dehydration and malnutrition while being held in a west Arkansas jail filed a federal lawsuit Friday claiming jail staff ignored his medical and mental health needs. Larry Eugene Price Jr. died at the Sebastian County jail in August 2021, after being held a little over a year. Price, 51, who had a history of serious mental illness, had been held in solitary confinement at the county facility. The lawsuit was filed against Sebastian County and Turn Key Health Clinics LLC, the jail's medical provider, along with two employees of Turn Key.

Washington Post: Man starved to death in jail after he couldn’t afford $100 bond, lawsuit says
Iris Price is among the 1,200 people known to have died in local jails, according to 2019 figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Though the specifics of Price's case are more unique — his autopsy lists his cause of death as “acute dehydration and malnutrition”.

Mohave Valley News: Judge outlines fixes for prison health care
A federal judge who previously concluded Arizona was providing inadequate medical and mental health care to prisoners said she will give the state three months to ensure it has enough health care professionals to meet constitutional standards. In a filing, Judge Roslyn Silver outlined the changes she plans to impose on the Arizona Department of Corrections. She previously concluded there weren’t enough health employees to care for the roughly 25,000 incarcerated people housed in state-run prisons and that corrections officials had made no significant attempts to fix the understaffing problem.

New Mexico
Albuquerque Journal: Witnesses said jail staff accused her of faking seizures. She died hours later.
In the 24 hours leading up to April Trujillo’s death in a detox pod at the county jail in late November, a medical team was called three times. The 41-year-old mother of three was reportedly throwing up repeatedly, had collapsed at least twice, and had several seizures. Both the correctional officers and the medical staff were dismissive of Trujillo, telling her she was faking it or was “just detoxing” and would be fine.

Albuquerque Journal: Man dies in custody at Bernalillo County jail Friday
A man died in custody of the Metropolitan Detention Center Friday morning. Tia Bland, a Bernalillo County spokeswoman, said the man was found unresponsive while jail staff was organizing out-of-cell time for inmates in a living unit.

North Carolina
NC Health News: Poorly resourced, insufficient oversight system allows violations, dangerous conditions in NC jails
Missed supervision rounds. Overcrowded facilities. Skipped fire drills. State inspectors with the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Health Service Regulation routinely found these issues and more while evaluating the state’s 109 jails for compliance with the minimum operating and safety standards. Inspection failures are not rare occurrences, according to a Disability Rights NC investigation into the safety of North Carolina jails and the effectiveness of state oversight.

VT Digger: Survey results continue to paint a grim picture at Springfield prison
Staff members and people in custody at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield reported high rates of suicidal thoughts, while morale among employees continued to lag, according to a new study released this week.

Violence In Corrections

The City: Why Are Slashings Surging in City Jails? We Asked Four People With Inside Knowledge.
The figures are grim: There were 477 stabbings and slashings in New York City jails last year. That’s up from 420 in 2021 and 121 in 2020, according to correction department records obtained by THE CITY. There were just 40 in 2017. Many of the victims and culprits are younger people locked up fighting over things like phone usage, food, and gang affiliation, according to Department of Correction records and several jail insiders.

Incarceration Alternatives

Crime Report: Home Confinement: A Safe Alternative To Mass Incarceration
Under the authority of the Cares Act of 2020 (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act), the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ), with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP), identified the most vulnerable inmates of the virus and released them back into community under home confinement. With the extraordinary success of the Cares Act releases, the BOP felt embolden enough to expand the use of home confinement to the point that nearly 48,000 of its inmates have now successfully completed their sentences in home confinement rather penal incarceration.


BMC: Epidemiology of TB in prisoners: a metanalysis of the prevalence of active and latent TB
Tuberculosis (TB) in prisons usually occurs at higher rates than in the general population, especially in developing countries. TB has been reported as the most common cause of death among prisoners. Studies have shown limitations for early detection of TB in prisons that seem to result from mistaken concepts about TB, delayed diagnosis mainly due to the naturalization of lack of healthcare for this population.

Hepatitis C

Stat: South Dakota plans major ramp-up of hepatitis C treatment in prison
The head of South Dakota prisons is pledging to dramatically overhaul how the system treats hepatitis C in the coming year. South Dakota’s new hepatitis C policy for incarcerated people, which is not yet final or public, will treat all people with hepatitis C for the virus, regardless of the stage of their infection, Corrections Secretary Kellie Wasko told STAT in an interview Monday. The policy will also mandate that all people being booked into prison be tested for the virus

Health Post Incarceration

Patient Engagement HIT: Past Incarceration a Key SDOH Causing Chronic Disease in Older Adults
Older patients with a history of incarceration are more likely to develop a chronic disease than those without prior incarceration, according to new research out of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) underscoring incarceration as a social determinant of health (SDOH). Researchers sought to understand the association between incarceration and health among community-dwelling older adults for future clinical and policy implications.

AAMC: Out of prison, but struggling to stay healthy
Incarcerated individuals are 1.5 times more likely to report a history of diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure than those who have not been incarcerated. They are 10 times more likely to have hepatitis C, which can be deadly, and up to 5 times as likely to meet the threshold for serious psychological distress. One statistic is particularly telling: The risk of dying within two weeks of release from prison is nearly 13 times higher than that faced by other individuals even after adjusting for age, race, and sex.

Correctional Nursing

nurse.org: Correctional Nurse Wins $2M Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Kathleen Newton, a former correctional nurse at Jefferson City Correctional Center in Jefferson City, Missouri run by the state—has been awarded $2 million in punitive damages and another $150,000 in compensatory damages, for a 2017 sexual harassment. Newton’s compensation came after a unanimous vote by a local jury in Cole County. Newman’s charge was against her employer at the time, Corizon, LLC (now YesCare, a staffing agency that partnered with correctional facilities to provide healthcare workers.

CorrectionalNurse.net: Legal History of Correctional Nursing: Estelle v. Gamble
November, 1976 could be deemed the official start of the Legal History of Correctional Nursing. This is the date of the landmark Estelle v Gamble Supreme Court decision which established healthcare as a constitutional right for US inmates based on the 8th Amendment (Cruel and Unusual Punishment). Before the 1970s, much inmate health care was provided by other inmates, correctional officers and the occasional physician.

Correctional Health Care Vendors

Chattanooga Times Free Press: Chattanooga-area families who lost loved ones to alleged lack of medical care while incarcerated express frustrations
Over 30 people showed support to three Chattanooga-area families who gathered at the Eastdale Village Community United Methodist Church to talk about the loss of their loved ones after allegedly suffering medical neglect, two at the Silverdale Detention Center and one at the Hamilton County Jail. J. Matt Lea, spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, saidthat Silverdale has a contract with the Alabama-based medical provider Quality Correctional Health Care.

West Central Tribune: Advanced Correctional HealthCare to take over Kandiyohi County Jail medical services
Kandiyohi County has found a new health care provider for its jail. Advanced Correctional HealthCare will take over from current provider MEnD Correctional Care by Feb. 20. Kandiyohi County was notified in early December that MEnD had filed for bankruptcy and would be ceasing operations by March 1.

Yahoo: Sheriff signs new health contract for Vance County Jail
Soon after the start of the new year, Vance County's sheriff signed a contract with a new health care provider, Advanced Correctional Healthcare Inc., who will help take care of the medical needs of prisoners in the county jail. Southern Health Partners, terminated its $354,840 contract with the sheriff's office on two weeks' notice. Southern Health cited "safety and liability concerns" as the reasons for its decision.