prisoner medical costs top $222 million
age of prisoners may have led to increase.
February 7, 2012
The cost to
Ohio for prisoner medical care last year topped $222 million, leading
prison officials to seek ways to bring it down.
Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections is under a federal class
lawsuit filed in 2003 to improve medical care for prisoners, and that
the state to hire hundreds of medical staff and build new facilities
the state paid an average of $4,371 per inmate in medical costs.
was filed by Ohio prisoners and lawyers who complained that the medical
had been so starved for funding that the conditions were deplorable.
were dying and getting a lot sicker than they should because of
medical care,” said Rickell Howard with the Ohio Justice and Police
spent $28 million on prescriptions alone and will pay to provide
service through its own state-employed health care employees or, in
cases, in private hospitals. The state typically will pay 25 percent of
billed charges from a private medical provider.
also up because the average age of Ohio’s prisoners is rising: 1,000
are age 65 or older.
of Springfield, 50, was incarcerated in August for one year on a charge
breaking and entering while he was already facing multiple medical
entered the prison relying upon a colostomy bag and has had his spleen
while in the prison system.
better than I thought,” he said.
with cancer are the most costly, and some patients have cost the state
than $250,000 a year in medical costs.
To try to
reduce costs, the state created its own in-house lab for blood and
testing and a dialysis unit for inmates.
takes the extreme step of releasing a sick prisoner from custody only
in which non violent offenders are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
are tough decisions to make, but there are a lot of patients here that
qualify for those things,” said Stuart Hudson, chief of the corrections
department health care service.
is to be reviewed by the court this summer and a determination will be
whether or not to release the state’s prison medical system from court
and other articles at the Dayton Daily News