Report Raps Alabama for Poor Prison Health Care
February 14, 2003
New Prison Commissioner Donal Campbell has released a medical consultant's report that found "dangerous and extremely poor quality health care" at Limestone Correctional Facility at Capshaw, where all the state's known AIDS inmates are confined.Adapted from:
The report says the death rate from AIDS at Limestone is more than twice the national average in prisons and that efforts to control infectious and communicable diseases at Limestone were not adequately monitored or reported.
The report, by Chicago-based Jacqueline Moore and Associates, said the AIDS dorm at Limestone is an old warehouse with high, leaky ceilings and double bunks so close together that they foster infection among HIV-infected inmates. "Based on the information available, it appears that six deaths this year are attributable to AIDS and three were caused by liver disease," the report stated. The AIDS death rate of 0.23 deaths per thousand at Limestone is more than twice the national prison AIDS death rate as reported by the American Correctional Association and is about twice the expected rate, the report said.
"Extremely dangerous infection control policies in a population that already has compromised immune systems is extremely alarming," said Tamara Serwer of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, which is representing inmates in lawsuits over conditions at Limestone and other correctional facilities in Alabama. "It is not surprising, therefore, that the death rate is remarkably high. The failure to review causes of death and to develop ways to prevent future deaths means that this high fatality rate will almost assuredly continue."
Department of Corrections spokesperson Brian Corbett said officials were asking NaphCare, a Birmingham-based health management contractor that provides medical services in Alabama prisons, "to do what's required" under its contract with the state. The report by Moore and Associates was one of several based on audits conducted last year at several Alabama prisons that made similar findings.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.