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Maine Legislative Panel Looking into Prison Health Care
02/28/2014 02:22 PM ET  

Grainne Dunne of the American Civil Liberties of Maine says the organization is very concerned about the high volume of inmate correspondance it's received related to what they say are serious unresolved issues.

The Legislature's Government Oversight Committee is again looking into health care provided by the Maine Department of Corrections.

This is a follow up to a report issued in 2011 which examined how well a contractor was performing in regard to expected standards of care and how well the DOC managed and monitored that health care contract. Since then, the department has hired a new contractor and reorganized its monitoring, and the oversight panel was checking in to see how things are going.

Grainne Dunne of the American Civil Liberties of Maine says the organization is very concerned about the high volume of inmate correspondance it's received related to what they say are serious unresolved issues.

"We recognize that there exist significant challenges to providing health care services in a correctional setting," Dunne said. "But withint the correctional setting, prisoners have limited power over selection of their own health care provider and treatment, causing them to be exceedingly vulnerable to cost-cutting measures, with little to no avenue for redress."

The Oversight Committee voted unanimously to inform the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee about what they've learned and about other concerns that have been raised recently. The panel has also asked the Corrections Department for more information.

This story was reported by Patty Wight and written by Ed Morin.



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