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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Investigation of Poor Health Care at Mother's Prison

From NYTimes.com: The authorities in California are investigating accusations that poor health care at a center where mothers serve prison terms with their young children led to the stillbirth of a 7-month-old fetus and endangered the lives of several children.

Staff logs, statements by prisoners and interviews with investigators, staff members and prisoners’ families depict a facility where inmates and their children were denied hospital visits and medications, and where no one kept adequate records of accidents involving injuries that included a skull fracture and a broken collarbone.

The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, one of several agencies investigating, is expected to decide this month whether to continue licensing the center, which houses nonviolent offenders, most convicted of drug crimes.

The problems at the center coincide with continuing intense scrutiny of health care delivery in California’s prisons. A court-appointed receiver was handed control of prison medical services more than a year ago after a federal court found widespread neglect and malpractice.

The 40-bed facility, located in San Diego and offered as an alternative to serving time in the customary penitentiary setting, has dormitory-style rooms for inmate and child adjoining shared living areas. It is run under the banner of the Family Foundations Program by a nonprofit contractor, Center Point Inc., which did not return calls seeking comment. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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