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San Diego County Jail Changing Medical Model For Needs Of Long-Term Inmates

Evening Edition

Aired 2/18/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Alfred Joshua, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Sheriff's Department San Diego County

Transcript

Prison realignment has had a significant impact on San Diego County jails. A report released by SANDAG this month shows more than one-third of all the inmates in San Diego County jails are now offenders who previously would have served their time in state prison.

The county is building more jail space to house the increasing number of inmates being housed at county facilities. The county continues to hire deputies and probation officers in order to meet the new demand.

Lack of access to medical care in state prisons was a significant part of the problem that eventually resulted in prison realignment. Ironically, one of the side effects of prison realignment in San Diego is being seen in the medical care being dispensed at San Diego County jails.

All felony prisoners, who were sentenced to longer than a year in jail, used to be sent to state prison. Now all non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual offenders are kept in county jails, in some cases for as long as 10 years.

This means the variety and severity of illness that has to be treated in county jails has increased dramatically.

San Diego County has a new chief medical officer for the Sheriff's Detention services bureau. Dr. Alfred Joshua said he's introducing something of a managed care system for county jails, with a focus on follow-up in the community for discharged inmates.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | February 18, 2014 at 12:33 p.m. ― 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The other option is compassionate release for non-violent offenders when stricken with severe illness.

Of course the police state would never agree to that, hence this story is written as if the ONLY option is to expand prison hospitals.

I guess it is an improvement over letting the sick imprisoned rot under insufficient medical services as the state was perfectly willing to do before a court stepped in and told them that's illegal.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | February 18, 2014 at 12:46 p.m. ― 1 month, 3 weeks ago

"Now all non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual offenders are kept in county jails, in some cases for as long as 10 years."

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Why isn't it just "non-serious, non-violent" offenders?

Why add in ALL sex crimes?

If an offense is non-violent, non-serious but IS sexual, they have to go to prison with violent offenders?

The 19 year old with a 16 year old girlfriend or the guy who was drunk and urinated in public near a school after hours when no children were even present are all considered "too severe for jail" and have to go to prison with the rapists, armed robbers and car jackers?

Take America's two biggest obsessions: sex and the prison-industrial complex and you get a country that is so twisted gun violence is defended by mainstream "gun rights" politicians yet the same politicians want to register two kids caught "playing doctor" as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

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