Federal Officials on Jail/ WFAA-TV

Inmates health is at risk, say fed officials

12:53 PM CST on Tuesday, February 13, 2007

By BRAD WATSON / WFAA-TV

WFAA-TV
Inmates can pick up disease in jail and pass them on when they are released. Also Online

Brad Watson reports
Severe overcrowding isn’t the only problem at the Dallas County Jail.

The federal government has harshly criticized the county over the lack of medical care for jail inmates.

That’s the topic before the county commissioners’ court today.

County jail officials are trying to get the jail population down from about 6,600 to about 6,000, under the threat of the state closing the jails, if they can’t get the population down.

The commissioners’ court also got a report on jail healthcare.

The U.S. Department of Justice found in an investigation last year inadequate care for inmates from the moment they arrive, when they are supposed to be screened for diseases and mental conditions, and during their incarceration.

One of the risks is that prisoners pick up diseases in jail, and then spread them to those of us in the free world, when they are released.

Parkland Hospital took over jail health last year and reports progress today in improving access to healthcare, infection control, and delivery of necessary drugs among inmates.

Training is important, said John Wiley Price, Dallas County Commissioner.

“We’re going into the academy, we’re also going to the different jails to make sure people have gone through the academy,” said Lupe Valdez, Dallas County Sheriff.

David Finn wrote: Having we been hearing this for years?
Judge David Finn

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