States Efforts To Outsource Prison Health Care Come Under Scrutiny

States Efforts To Outsource Prison Health Care Come Under Scrutiny

July 22, 2012 | by Kimberly Leonard | Kaiser Health News

prison_care_300

States, in an attempt to cut costs, are increasingly outsourcing health care for inmates to for-profit companies. About 20 states, including Arizona, Illinois and Maryland, have shifted all or portions of their prison health care operations to private firms. Officials in these states maintain that the companies, which provide physical, dental, mental and pharmaceutical services, are less expensive than employing state workers — partially because using the companies saves benefits and pension costs.

States, in an attempt to cut costs, are increasingly outsourcing health care for inmates to for-profit companies. About 20 states, including Arizona, Illinois and Maryland, have shifted all or portions of their prison health care operations to private firms. Officials in these states maintain that the companies, which provide physical, dental, mental and pharmaceutical services, are less expensive than employing state workers — partially because using the companies saves benefits and pension costs. However, the trend is raising concerns among unions and prisoners’ rights groups.

Click here to read “Prison Bed Profiteers: How Corporations Are Reshaping Criminal Justice in the U.S.,” NCCD’s recent report focusing on the disconnect between claims made by supporters of privatization and the true impact of the private prison industry.