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