Healthcare supplier severs ties with Mississippi prisons

Healthcare provider severs ties with Mississippi prisons


A healthcare supplier has terminated its multimillion-dollar relationship with the Mississippi Division of Corrections. The supplier, Centurion, faces a class-action lawsuit, and allegations of negligence together with the division itself.

The announcement comes after Staff ROC, the philanthropic arm of Jay-Z’s firm, Roc Nation, and rapper Yo Gotti teamed as much as rent legal professionals for 227 Mississippi inmates over situations within the jail. 

Centurion, a part of the Centene Company, mentioned in a July 7 letter to the division, obtained by CBS Information affiliate WJTV, that it was terminating its relationship, efficient October 5, 2020. 

“As we beforehand shared, we don’t consider we will additional enhance the effectiveness of our degree of care with out further funding from the Division in correctional staffing and infrastructure alongside the strains of what we’ve already really useful,” wrote Steven H. Wheeler, CEO of Centurion. 

Marcy Croft, the lead legal professional for Staff ROC, mentioned she hopes Centurion’s choice to finish the connection “sends a transparent message to Governor Tate Reeves — it is time to spend money on the well being and well-being of the folks in your prisons.” 

“There is no such thing as a excuse for the 53 deaths throughout the Mississippi jail system over the previous a number of months, lots of which have been preventable,” Croft mentioned in a press release. “We is not going to cease till the incarcerated obtain constant and competent medical care, particularly now with the COVID-19 disaster. This have to be a precedence.”

Violence, understaffing and a deteriorating infrastructure have plagued Mississippi’s jail system. Over 50 folks have died in state services since December 29, a determine that features suicides, homicides and circumstances that have been labeled as “pure deaths.” The swimsuit claims the plaintiffs’ lives are in peril whereas inside.

A physician employed by legal professionals suing Mississippi mentioned the situations on the state penitentiary are the worst he is seen at any jail. Dr. Marc Stern, who makes a speciality of correctional well being care and has evaluated dozens of comparable services throughout the nation, mentioned he witnessed uncovered electrical wiring inside Parchman — one of many state’s prisons — a few of it close to standing water. 

“The situations underneath which residents exist in Parchman are sub-human and deplorable in a civilized society,” Stern mentioned. 

The attorneys additionally declare there was a scarcity of COVID-19 testing protocol or medical consideration for the inmates, in addition to a scarcity of social distancing protocols and private safety gear.

Based on Centene’s web site, the corporate “offers correctional healthcare and staffing providers to authorities businesses” in 17 states.  “By combining sound monetary self-discipline with the supply of acceptable care, Centurion is gaining recognition amongst states as a prime correctional healthcare supplier,” reads the web site.

Justin Carissimo contributed to this report.

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