El Paso Co. jail con­trac­tor banned in N.Y.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By The Gazette

A Miami-based cor­rec­tional health care provider found a fresh start in El Paso County, win­ning a jail con­tract po­ten­tially worth up to $40 mil­lion, eight months af­ter it was banned from jails and prisons in New York state fol­low­ing a string of in­mate deaths.

Ar­mor Cor­rec­tional Health Ser­vices Inc., a de­fen­dant in dozens of pend­ing law­suits na­tion­wide over prison­ers’ civil rights and al­le­ga­tions of sub­stan­dard care, will pro­vide med­i­cal ser­vices to the jail’s av­er­age daily pop­u­la­tion of roughly 1,500 in­mates be­gin­ning July 15.

It will re­place a sim­i­larly con­tro­ver­sial provider, Cor­rect Care Solutions of Nashville, Tenn., in a tran­si­tion that il­lus­trates what one crim­i­nal jus­tice ex­pert calls the “ping­pong” ef­fect: In the world of for-profit cor­rec­tional health care, one embattled provider is of­ten cut loose only to clear the way for an­other.

Ar­mor spokes­woman Ye­leny Suarez de­fended the com­pany’s track record, say­ing the physi­cianowned op­er­a­tion fo­cuses squarely on pa­tient care. She de­clined to com­ment on law­suits over in­mate deaths filed against Ar­mor in at least four of the eight states where it op­er­ates.

County of­fi­cials said the switch in con­trac­tors was not a re­sult of prob­lems with Cor­rect Care Solutions.

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