Former Prisoners Face Significant Healthcare Challenges

The Medicaid expansion under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act allows states to give inmates across the country access to some health coverage that continues after they are released. But access to health insurance is just a small part of the health-related challenges inmates face on the other side. At CNN, Dr. Emily Wang writes that many former inmates with chronic health problems “have their first exposure to health care as adults in prison.” This is a sad [Continue reading]

Incarcerated Women in California Pen Open Letter Against GEO Group’s New Private Prison

In April, The Bakersfield Californian reported that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) signed a contract with private prison company GEO Group to re-open and operate a women's facility in Mcfarland, California. GEO Group will own and operate the 260-bed facility and is expected to make around $9 million per year at full occupancy. Unfortunately, due to the lack of public access to private prison contracts, most of the details are unknown. This week, a group of ten female prisoners from the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and the California Institution for Women (CIW) have written an open letter calling on "California state legislators to direct CDCR to cancel the contract with GEO and implement existing release programs instead of opening a new prison!" The prisoners write that they are being "shuffled around without regard for our well-being or our human rights" due to overcrowding. They note that CCWF's facility is currently operating at 185% capacity, and as a result, prisoners' access to critical services such as food and healthcare have declined. They are concerned, however, that women transferred to GEO Group's new facility will not see their treatment improve. [Continue reading]

Idaho Officials: Missing Inmate Medical Records and $100k Drug Shortage Plagues Private Prison Transition

Idaho Correctional Center Earlier this year, the AP reported that the Idaho Department of Corrections would retake control of the state’s largest prison from Corrections Corporation of America amid a “decade of mismanagement and other problems at the facility.” That transition is now underway. Today, the Associated Press published new complaints by state officials who say CCA’s poor planning and lack of medical care for inmates has produced [Continue reading]
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