Private medical staff at one Arizona prison told sick inmates requesting medical care, “Be Patient or Pray.” Doctors who visited the prisons in Arizona that provided privatized health care complained in reports about the atrocious medical care given to mentally ill inmates. Doctors have reported that the private health care staff would not prescribe essential medications, ignored completely serious symptoms, and refused medical care despite the inmates begging for help.
For readers who immediately think that all inmates are faking, consider the cases reported by physicians who visited the prisons and reviewed inmate’s medical records. One inmate complained numerous times about severe pain and mental confusion. The staff made fun of the inmate for “faking” his illness. He was eventually diagnosed with lung cancer several days before he died. Another prisoner died of pneumonia caused by AIDs even though the inmate requested an AIDs test numerous times. Many inmates have waited months for crucial surgeries and appropriate medications. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the inmates denied medical care.
Wexford, a private prison healthcare company, lost its contract with Arizona prisons because of charges of numerous deaths and incompetence. Corizon, Inc., the biggest private prison healthcare provider, took over the contract in 2013. Unfortunately, another review last year reported that conditions had remained the same in Arizona. Corizon is presently under siege from numerous lawsuits in states such as New Mexico and Kentucky. The company lost its contracts with Maine and Maryland.
On a personal note, I knew one inmate in prison in Maryland, who complained repeatedly to the medical staff about his leg. Over several months, his leg became extremely swollen and he was walking with a severe limp. One day, this inmate, who was only in his thirties, was found dead in the shower from a blood clot. It was understood that a blood clot from his swollen leg had traveled to his heart causing a heart attack.
“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” ― Nelson Mandela
By Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com