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%.
Much of this excess mortality is preventable, say some doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who have worked in the nation’s jails. The Reuters report detailed several heartbreaking cases illustrating their point.
Matthew Loflin, who was jailed at the Chatham County Detention Center in Savannah, Georgia in March 2014 while awaiting trial for alleged drug posession, begged for his life. The 32-year-old was coughing up blood, struggling to breathe, and losing consciousness in his cell. Loflin’s voice cracked with sheer desperation as he phoned his mother for what turned out to be the last time.
“I need to go to the hospital,” Loflin pleaded. “I’m gonna die in here.” But management at Corizon Health Inc.—a privately-held company with an exceedingly long list of wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuits—rejected the request of the jail’s medical staff. By the time Corizon approved Loflin’s hospitalization, it was too late. He died April 24, 2014 after suffering irreversible brain damage.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction