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Investigation Shows How Jails’ Privatized Healthcare Places Profit Over Prisoners, With Deadly Results
by Brett Wilkins
Posted December 16, 2020

U.S. jails in which healthcare has been contracted out to private providers experienced inmate death rates up to 58% higher than detention facilities with publicly managed medical services, a Reuters investigation published Monday found.

profits before livesReuters reviewed inmate deaths in more than 500 U.S. jails from 2016 to 2018 and found that facilities where healthcare was run by one of the country’s five top prison medical services companies had significantly higher mortality rates.

“I’m scared to death somebody is going to die over something stupid that Corizon is going to do.” —Melissa Kohne, Chatham County Jail compliance manager

The national average for jails where local public health or law enforcement departments managed healhcare during that period was 12.8 deaths per 100,000 inmates. Detention centers with privatized healthcare experienced between 2.3 to 7.4 additional annual deaths depending on the company providing care, an increase of between 18% and 58%. More…