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Callaway County Jail
Fulton, Missouri
Correctional Medical Services

November 17, 2005 Fulton Sun
With half a month left before inmates at the Callaway County Jail lose their healthcare provider, county officials believe they have found a new provider, one that will offer more benefits at a cheaper rate. The Callaway County Commission decided Wednesday morning to pursue using Advanced Correctional Healthcare to provide medical services to the county's inmates. After Correctional Medical Services - which will provide the county's healthcare until Nov. 30 - notified the county that it was pulling out of the contract at the end of October, Callaway officials have been hurriedly looking for another provider. "I was really concerned when the sheriff said (CMS) would no longer be providing services," said county auditor Rosemary Gannaway. "That was the scary part." CMS generally provides medical services to institutions larger than county jails, but because of Callaway's proximity to the Department of Corrections in Jefferson City - which CMS services - CMS agreed to cover the Callaway jail, Gannaway said. CMS provided a nurse practitioner to work 18 hours a week at the jail, as well as an on-call doctor. Because the nurse practitioner recently accepted another job, Gannaway said CMS decided to end the contract rather than trying to find another nurse practitioner to fill the position.

Correctional Medical Services (now Corizon)
St. Louis, Missouri

Arizona prisons in health-care quandary: February 16, 2012, Bob Ortega, The Arizona Republic. Expose on for-profit health providers

Mar 2, 2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • The City of St. Louis this week settled a lawsuit that alleged that medical negligence and heroin withdrawal caused the death of a jail inmate. Isaac Bennett Jr. was jailed on July 23, 2007, and told a nurse that he was a heroin addict who had used heroin the day before his arrest, the lawsuit claims. Bennett died after two days of diarrhea and vomiting, “classic symptoms of heroin withdrawal,” the suit says, and “was not given even the most basic medical treatment.” An autopsy showed Bennett “died of metabolic changes secondary to withdraw from heroin causing disturbance of cardiac rhythm and resulting in cardiac arrest,” the suit says. The city and Correctional Medical Services denied Bennett's claims, which were filed in 2010 by Bennett's father, Isaac Bennett, and Christine Youell, the mother of his child. The city agreed to pay $10,000 to settle the case, according to a copy of the settlement agreement made public on Friday, the day after the settlement was approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Terry Adelman. Correctional Medical Services agreed to pay a settlement amount that is confidential under terms of the agreement. Correctional Medical Services, now Corizon, provides healthcare at the two city jails, as well as state prisons in Missouri and 27 other states.

August 30, 2012 ACLU Press Release
The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri’s civil suit against the city of St. Louis and Correctional Medical Services, the medical provider for the city jails that is now known as Corizon, was dismissed today. Originally filed in 2010 on behalf of an HIV-positive inmate at the Medium Security Institute in St. Louis, the ACLU-EM’s lawsuit cited life-threatening deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition. The inmate, known as John Doe to protect his privacy, was incarcerated in early 2010 and for the first 20 days of his stay was denied the life-saving medication for which he had a daily prescription. During that period he was given only Tylenol, despite repeated attempts by him, a friend and his doctor to re-establish his prescribed medical regime. “No one awaiting trial should ever be denied medical care,” says Brenda L. Jones, executive director of the ACLU-EM. “But, this case was especially egregious because people who are HIV-positive can quickly build resistance to medications that are not taken consistently.” Tony Rothert, the ACLU-EM’s legal director, said “This gross violation of our client’s constitutional rights caused him suffering, mental and emotional distress, and great fear of physical harm. Even worse is the gross incompetence displayed by Corizon, the company that also provides medical services to the state of Missouri’s prisons.” The case was dismissed as part of a settlement agreement. A condition of the settlement prevents the disclosure of the amount of settlement funds paid to Doe.

May 24, 2012 Post-Dispatch
About an hour after a doctor instructed St. Louis jail staff to send inmate Courtland Lucas to a hospital immediately, medical records show, the 31-year-old prisoner collapsed in a cell and soon died. The lapse is among a variety of medical missteps alleged in a wrongful-death and malpractice lawsuit against the private contractor that provides medical care for the St. Louis Justice Center. Medical records obtained by lawyers for Lucas' family also contain a nurse's notes indicating a belief at the time that his episodes were 'staged." Lucas died May 25, 2009, from complications of a heart problem, congenital aortic valve stenosis while under the care of Correctional Medical Services Inc. CMS merged last year with PHS Correctional Healthcare to form Corizon. It provides medical coverage to more than 400,000 inmates at 400 correctional facilities across the country, including St. Louis, where its operational headquarters is located. A company spokesman, Pat Nolan, said: "Corizon and its employees work hard every day to provide quality care to thousands of inmates across the country." Mayor Francis Slay's spokeswoman, Kara Bowlin, would not comment on specific allegations. She noted that the city spends nearly $7 million each year on inmate health care and "takes seriously its obligation to provide health care services to the people it confines, many of whom come to us with serious medical problems." The suit, filed this month by the St. Louis Lawyers Group on behalf of Lucas' minor son, Trayon Lucas-McNairy, seeks unspecified damages over $25,000 from CMS but does not name the city as a defendant. Burton Newman, one of his attorneys, said in an interview: "We found several individuals who were quoted on the record as recognizing the care that this gentleman needed, but other individuals seem to have failed to recognize the care needed, or ignored the care needed." It is the second attempt at compensation in the case. A prior wrongful-death suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the city and the health care provider, was voluntarily dismissed last year on a legal technicality. DETERIORATING HEALTH -- Lucas, the youngest of 14 children, was a jokester who wrote poetry and announced a new commitment to God, his family told the Post-Dispatch in 2010. He had been a restaurant manager but struggled with drugs, including heroin, for the last four years of his life. Medical records show Lucas long suffered from serious heart problems, which required several valve replacements and a hospitalization in 2009 for swelling and an irregular heartbeat. He was diabetic, suffered from hypertension and had a pacemaker. When he was arrested by St. Louis police May 20, 2009, on a parole violation — he had a record of drug and traffic offenses — he was taken to St. Alexius Hospital, complaining of chest pain. Doctor's orders from that visit set out a plan for checking his blood sugar and administering insulin. Later orders from a jail physician offered a similar schedule. But Lucas' lawyers, one with a medical degree, say evidence shows the orders were not consistently followed. The suit refers to medical records it says reflect neglect. The plaintiff's lawyer provided a Post-Dispatch reporter with CMS documents that show: • May 24, afternoon: Lucas, in a narcotics detoxification unit, shows signs of trouble. His blood sugar level is elevated, at 228. Nurses administer insulin but don't record another blood-sugar check until the next day. • May 24, 7:15 p.m.: Lucas complains of a fast heartbeat and hallucinations, talking of "little people" in his room. A nurse notes he is agitated and perspiring. A jail physician has asked to be called about any changes in Lucas' mental status but there is no record of such a call; Lucas' lawyers maintain it wasn't made. • May 25, 4 a.m.: Lucas asks to go to a hospital and says he doesn't want to die in the jail. He is taken by wheelchair to an examining room. Nurses try to draw blood but note that it's too thick. Existing hospital orders call for a doctor's care if his blood sugar rises above 300; it is now 325. There is no note of any insulin being administered. • May 25, 1:10 p.m.: A nurse notes Lucas' altered mental status and also writes that "all episodes appear to be staged as (Lucas) easily comes back to normal conversation." • May 25, 5:30 p.m.: Lucas is found lying in his cell in a 'stuporous condition" and answers questions 'sluggishly," according to a nurse's notes. Insulin is administered but there is no note of his sugar being checked. Nurses have trouble detecting his pulse and blood pressure, but ultimately find his heart rate is high, at 160. • May 25, 5:45 p.m.: The on-call physician orders Lucas taken to a hospital emergency room immediately. • May 25, about 7 p.m.: Lucas is still waiting for transport. A sheriff's deputy reports that Lucas has collapsed while sitting in a wheelchair. Records indicate a lost minute while medical staff struggles to have the doors to the holding unit opened by master control. • May 25, 7:10 p.m.: Paramedics arrive and take Lucas to St. Louis University Hospital. • May 25, 7:54 p.m.: Lucas is pronounced dead. OTHER CLAIMS OF NEGLECT -- CMS which has worked for Missouri's prison system since 1992 and has for decades been one of the biggest inmate health care contractors, has been a target of criticism before. It was the main subject of a 1998 Post-Dispatch investigation, which showed that inmates died in more than 20 cases due to negligence, indifference, understaffing, inadequate training or cost-cutting. Such concerns rose again in 2007 after the death of LaVonda Kimble, 30, from an asthma attack at the St. Louis Justice Center. A fire department report, obtained by a lawyer for her family, showed paramedics encountered delays and apathy when trying to get into the jail. Autopsy findings showed no trace of a drug that jail nurses said they repeatedly administered to ease Kimble's breathing. "The discovery in this case showed they did little to nothing for her. They just watched her die," according to her family's attorney, John Wallach. A confidential settlement of that suit was reached last year and fulfilled in the past few weeks. Wallach said that "justice was done to the extent that the law would allow..." In 2010, the ACLU alleged in federal court that an HIV-positive John Doe plaintiff was deprived of medications for 17 days, even though he told jail staff of his condition and his physician faxed information about his medicines and dosages. Also that year, Vanessa Evans, 37, died hours after she complained to staff about having trouble breathing. Jail officials said she appeared fine a half hour earlier. Evans' family complained that the company failed to take her claims seriously despite her history of asthma. Newman said Lucas' case is another chapter in a sad history. He complained: "It's tragic that a man with known medical conditions was incarcerated in the city jail and did not receive any of the medical care that he was not only entitled to, but ... the medical officials at the jail knew he needed."

December 13, 2011 Baltimore Sun
Annapolis lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano will go into the 2012 legislative session next month with ethics charges safely behind him. Bereano settled a case with the State Ethics Commission earlier this year by agreeing to pay a $2,750 penalty for failing to make required disclosures of meals and other gifts to state officials. Bereano, a convicted felon who settled a more serious ethics cases in 2009 with a $29,070 payment, came to a new agreement with the ethics panel in May under which he agreed to a fine and submitted amended disclosure forms that added detail about which state officials were the beneficiaries of his generosity. Over the years, Bereano appears to be the lobbyist most frequently cited by the panel for violations large and small. He now has seven ethics cases on file with the commission. The most recent settlement was found in an examination of the commission’s records. The panel does not normally send out public notices of violations – helping to account for why the infraction was not reported for months. The agreement stipulated that Bereano did not properly disclose his spending on meals and beverages he bought for Richard B. Rosenblatt, then an assistant secretary in the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, each year between 2005-2008. Meanwhile, Rosenblatt was making the required disclosures each year – though he took a short cut by overestimating Bereano’s spending on him as coming to $500 a year for those four years. Rosenblatt was violating no law, according to the ethics commission, because state law allows executive branch officials to be wined and dined in the presence of the person footing the bill as long as the identity and amount are disclosed. But when ethics officials cross-checked Bereano’s disclosures against Rosenblatt's, they found that the lobbyist hadn’t been quite as diligent. Records show Bereano filed amended disclosures for 2006-2008 showing spending between $148 and $300 on wining and dining Rosenblatt for those three years while representing Correctional Medical Services. In the same settlement, Bereano also admitted to a failure to disclose a series of gifts to a Senate staff member between 2001 and 2005. The lobbyist explained that the gifts, including sports tickets, were personal in nature and weren’t paid for by one of his employers. The ethics panel found that such gifts to employees of the legislature are not permitted. The recipient was a former member of the staff of state Sen. John Hafer, a Western Maryland Republican. Bereano’s amended disclosure shows that the gifts followed a running theme involving the Dallas Cowboys, including tickets to the teams games against the Washington Redskins. The agreement noted that the staff member eventually reimbursed Bereano for the gifts. Rosenblatt, who now works in the prison health industry, said he regrets having been imprecise in his disclosures, but not having dined with Bereano. He said his outside-the-office communications with the lobbyist helped improve communications between his department and a company that already held a contract. “He helped improve the service received from the client,” Rosenblatt said. Bereano did not return a call seeking his comment. The infractions were far less serious than the previous case in which Bereano was cited. That involved signing an illegal contingency contract that would have rewarded him for a successful outcome. But the $2,750 settlement is considerably more than the typical fine paid in a case against a lobbyist – which typically involve $250 fines for late filing of a disclosure. Bereano is currently seeking to have his 1994 federal mail fraud conviction invalidated because of subsequent appellate rulings that call into question the prosecution's legal groundwork for the case.

June 3, 2011 Biz Journal
Valitás Health Services Inc. on Friday completed its previously announced acquisition of America Service Group Inc. for $250 million, and the merged, privately held company has changed its name to Corizon. Valitás, the St. Louis-based parent company of Correctional Medical Services Inc., announced in March that it planned to buy Brentwood, Tenn.-based America Service Group, parent of PHS Correctional Healthcare Inc. America Service Group shareholders, who are being paid $26 per share, approved the deal Wednesday. Valitás previously was one of the largest privately held companies based in St. Louis, with $750 million in 2010 revenue. However the newly named Corizon’s operational headquarters will remain in St. Louis, but its corporate headquarters will be in Brentwood, Tenn. America Service Group President and CEO Rich Hallworth is now CEO of Corizon, and Valitás Chairman and CEO Richard Miles is Corizon’s non-executive chairman. Stuart Campbell, formerly president and chief operating officer of Valitás and Correctional Medical, is Corizon’s president and chief operating officer. The combined prison health-care service provider has about 11,000 employees and independent contractors, and serves more than 400 correctional facilities. Corizon's annual revenue is expected to total $1.4 billion for 2011.

March 3, 2011 The Street
America Service Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASGR), the parent company of PHS Correctional Healthcare, Inc., and Valitás Health Services, Inc., the parent company of Correctional Medical Services, Inc., announced today the signing of an agreement and plan of merger (the “Merger Agreement”) under which the two companies would be combined, bringing together two leading companies in the correctional healthcare field – America Service Group's PHS Correctional Healthcare and Valitás’ Correctional Medical Services. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will have approximately 11,000 employees and independent contractors and will serve more than 400 correctional facilities. The combined company’s annual revenues are expected to total approximately $1.4 billion for 2011.

October 12, 2010 AP
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a wrongful death lawsuit over the death of a jail inmate in St. Louis, claiming he did not get proper care for a heart condition. The ACLU filed suit Tuesday on behalf of Landa Poke. Her brother, 32-year-old Courtland Lucas, died at the St. Louis City Justice Center in May 2009, five days after he was jailed on a probation violation. The ACLU says Lucas had chronic heart disease and was wearing a pacemaker when taken into custody. The suit contends Correctional Medical Services failed to provide proper medications or care for Lucas. A spokesman for CMS says the company has not yet seen the lawsuit and cannot comment on the allegations. A message left with a spokeswoman for the city of St. Louis was not returned.

May 5, 2010 The News-Journal
Three new vendors will replace the company that provides medical care in Delaware's prisons, the state's response to five years of criticism and turmoil over the quality of inmate health care. Correction Commissioner Carl C. Danberg acknowledged the agreements Tuesday, shortly after he signed a $29.8 million contract with Nashville-based Correct Care Solutions, which will serve as the general health care provider. On Monday, Danberg said, he signed a $10 million contract with MHM Services Inc., of Vienna, Va., and a $700,000 contract with Correct Rx Pharmacy Services Inc. of Linthicum, Md. MHM Services will provide mental health and substance abuse treatment to the Department of Correction. Correct Rx will fulfill pharmacy responsibilities. The two-year contracts, with optional one-year extensions, go into effect July 1, the day after St. Louis-based Correctional Medical Services' contract expires. The new contracts are expected to be announced today. The breakup of the single medical health care contract was a result of frustration with CMS, the subject of a 2005 investigation by The News Journal. The newspaper's series brought to light problems with high inmate death rates, especially from AIDS and suicide. It also pointed out neglect of sick inmates who were in filthy infirmaries that sometimes lacked beds. Following the series, a federal monitor was appointed by the U.S. Justice Department to oversee prison health care. The state entered a three-year agreement in 2006 with the Justice Department to improve inmate health care.

March 5, 2010 News Journal
Twenty-four companies have submitted bids to provide health care services at Delaware's prisons Four of them are from Delaware, and many critics of the current health care provider, St. Louis-based Correctional Medical Services, say a local contractor is needed to help lift the Department of Correction from under the federal scrutiny it's been under for almost four years. "The good news is that the deplorable tenure and administration of [Correctional Medical Services] will come to an end," said the Rev. Christopher Bullock, senior pastor of New Canaan Baptist Church and co-founder of the Delaware Coalition for Prison Reform and Justice. "Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a new day for Delaware corrections." Correction Commissioner Carl C. Danberg announced last year he would end the contract with Correctional Medical Services after it was criticized for providing inadequate care despite being paid more than $130 million over three years. In place of hiring a single health care provider, Danberg broke the contract into 10 smaller agreements focusing on specific services. Last week was the deadline to submit proposals. "We've never had more than half a dozen vendors participate in either the substance abuse contract or the medical contract before," Danberg said. "So to have 24 we're doing something right." In addition to the four local bidders, another 10 are from neighboring states. Participants could submit bids to provide more than one service, and eight businesses have done so, including some of the Delaware companies. Names of the bidders were not released because their abilities have not been verified. "We're excited, but still a little nervous," Danberg said. "The hard part is going to be putting this contract together." Danberg said it is too soon to know if the state will save money under the new bidding format. Meetings with the bidders will be held later this month. "Ultimately, the proof of whether or not this whole new system works is going to be in whether or not the provision of medical health care works," Danberg said. Bullock said he would like to see local vendors used, as long as they have a proven record. It also is important that there not be too many companies for the correction department to handle. "We need a healthy balance to fix an unhealthy system," he said. Delaware entered an agreement with the federal government to improve prison health care in 2006 following stories by The News Journal that uncovered problems and high inmate death rates, especially from AIDS and suicide. The 2005 series also pointed to poor medical treatment for cancer, meningitis, hepatitis and other communicable diseases and bacterial infections.

October 14, 2009 The News Journal
After years of criticism and a federal investigation, state officials announced today they will let their contract with Correctional Medical Services expire and try to find a new provider. The Department of Correction announced it will take bids for a new contract with modifications it hopes will provide better care, including breaking the contract into smaller pieces to allow multiple companies to provide more specialized service. The new contract will also have a “shared risk,” with the DOC paying for certain costs in order to prevent medical providers from limiting inmate care in order to maximize their profits. “The Department of Correction has used the last few months to prepare for and make an informed decision about this [Request for Proposals],” Commissioner of Correction Carl Danberg said. “We have reviewed the best practices from other states and interviewed medical experts from around the country in an effort to develop a better contracting model for prison health services. In addition, the department has interviewed correctional health-care professionals to identify and eliminate the impediments to competition, which existed in previous contracts.” In January, Danberg extended the contract with CMS from a 2009 expiration date to June 30, 2010. At the time Danberg said rebidding the contract would cost the state an additional $4 million on top of the $39 million it’s already paying for health care. The Department of Correction has come under scrutiny for its care of inmates in Delaware prisons. Delaware entered into the agreement with the federal government following a series of articles in 2005 by The News Journal that pointed to problems with prison health care and high inmate death rates, especially from AIDS. Other findings by the newspaper's six-month investigation included an outbreak of flesh-eating bacteria and an inmate's massive brain tumor – largely ignored by staff – which led to his death. Independent reports as a result of the agreement with the federal government repeatedly pointed out that CMS suffers from a "lack of stable and effective leadership." Independent monitor Joshua W. Martin III said in his most recent report that the department made some strides in complying with the memorandum of agreement, or MOA. Martin found the state failed to comply with six of 217 provisions, and was in substantial compliance with 64 of them. The state was said to be in partial compliance with the remaining requirements. Among the improvements was better organization of health records, as well as up-to-date filing of health documents. Training for guards in suicide prevention has expanded and the department created a Bureau of Correctional Health-Care Services to supervise and audit medical programs. However, Martin also said it is unlikely that the state will be in full compliance when the agreement expires. In addition to leadership problems with the medical contractor, other problems cited include shortages of mental health counselors and psychiatrists, incomplete annual staffing plans, poor treatment plans and a continued lack of space that results in inadequate privacy.

September 30, 2009 The News Journal
After spending more than $130 million over three years, Delaware's prison system continues to provide health care to inmates that falls short of federal requirements, according to a report issued Tuesday by an independent monitor. Because of that, the state Department of Correction is at risk of remaining under U.S. Justice Department supervision when an agreement it signed in 2006 expires later this year. While the federal agency declined to comment Tuesday, it can take the more drastic measure of suing for control of the state's prison system. When it did that in California, the penal system was taken over by the federal government, which ordered the release of prisoners because of overcrowding. In Delaware, prisoners who cannot get adequate health care could be ordered released if there is a takeover, said Stephen A. Hampton, a Dover attorney who represents inmates and their families in lawsuits against the department. Delaware entered into the agreement with the federal government following a series of articles in 2005 by The News Journal that pointed to problems with prison health care and high inmate death rates, especially from AIDS. Other findings by the newspaper's six-month investigation included an outbreak of flesh-eating bacteria and an inmate's massive brain tumor -- largely ignored by staff -- which led to his death. "Unfortunately, I'm beginning to accept that we're not going to be in substantial compliance by the end of the year," said Carl Danberg, Department of Correction commissioner. "We are still working very hard to meet that deadline, but I'm beginning to accept that we'll not make it." The state has until Dec. 29 to comply with 217 provisions mandated by the agreement, which was signed by Danberg, who was then Delaware's attorney general, and former Correction Commissioner Stan Taylor. It called on the state to revamp its prison health care system and report its progress regularly to the Justice Department. Independent monitor Joshua W. Martin III said in his report that the department made some strides in complying with the memorandum of agreement, or MOA. Martin found the state failed to comply with six of 217 provisions, and was in substantial compliance with 64 of them. The state was said to be in partial compliance with the remaining requirements. Among the improvements was better organization of health records, as well as up-to-date filing of health documents. Training for guards in suicide prevention has expanded and the department created a Bureau of Correctional HealthCare Services to supervise and audit medical programs. However, Martin also said it is unlikely that the state will be in full compliance when the agreement expires. Problems listed in the 210-page report include a "lack of stable and effective leadership" by the company contracted by the state to provide medical services, an ongoing problem Martin listed on previous reports. Other problems cited include shortages of mental health counselors and psychiatrists, incomplete annual staffing plans, poor treatment plans and a continued lack of space that results in inadequate privacy. Danberg, who previously said there were problems with the medical vendor, St. Louis-based Correctional Medical Services (CMS), extended the group's $39 million contract for another year because it would cost the state an additional $4 million to seek a new vendor. Danberg said he has penalized CMS for not complying with its contract. "Last year alone, we forfeited over a million dollars from them," Danberg said, adding the money was used on the prisons' medical facilities." We have improved the physical plant space at Howard Young [Correctional Institution], Baylor [Women's Correctional Institution] and [Sussex Correctional Institution]." CMS officials said in an e-mail they are reviewing the monitor's findings and recommendations. "While we are proud of the accomplishments our team has achieved in partnership with the DOC, we remain fully committed to working with the state to do more to strengthen the health care program in Delaware prisons," CMS spokesman Tony Zagora said. 'Lapses in medical treatment' -- Robert Kern, 69, wonders how much longer the problems will continue and how many lives will be affected. "I don't see where any major changes have been affected because the same organization is there," said Kern, whose 41-year-old son, Daniel, died earlier this month while serving a one-year sentence for drunken driving at Wilmington's Plummer Community Corrections Center. Kern said the state Medical Examiner's Office told him his son died of pancreatitis inflammation or infection of the pancreas. The younger Kern complained to prison officials, but the illness went undiagnosed until he was taken to St. Francis Hospital and died, Robert Kern said. "Apparently their profitability is somewhat related on what they spend" on inmate health care, Kern said about CMS. "Right there the incentive to treat people versus having a higher profitability is just in contrast. I'm afraid the patient will lose nine times out of 10." John Painter, department spokesman, said that while the state is prohibited under federal law from disclosing specifics, Daniel Kern's death is "being reviewed in the same manner that all inmate deaths are addressed. Specifically, the Delaware Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and, as of now, no cause has been determined." He also said the case will be reviewed by the independent monitor and others. "To the extent lapses in medical treatment are identified, DOC will be take prompt corrective action," he said.

May 27, 2009 St Petersburg Times
Gov. Charlie Crist has made it a priority to run the "most open and transparent" administration in state history. But a former adviser to Crist is suing the state, claiming the Department of Corrections broke the Sunshine Law by mishandling a contract to provide mental health services to inmates. Attorney Chris Kise of Foley & Lardner, who served as a counselor and climate change advisor to Crist, filed the suit in state court in Tallahassee Tuesday on behalf of MHM Correctional Services, a Virginia firm that pitched a proposal to provide mental health care in the agency's South Florida Region IV prisons. Kise's suit alleges that he obtained public records showing that agency staffers began "secret negotiations" with a competing vendor, Correctional Medical Services (CMS), almost two weeks before competing vendors learned that their proposals were rejected. Kise also said the deal the state negotiated with CMS would cost taxpayers $5.5-million more than MHM's proposal. Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil said he was confident the agency would prevail. We are fully confident that we didn't do anything that would be a problem to the state," he said. "I think the facts will bear that out to be not true." By law, McNeil said, he can't discuss the details of a contract that is "still in the throes of procurement."

November 7, 2007 Financial Times
Madison Dearborn is preparing a sale of Valitas, a company that provides medical care to prison populations, three sources told mergermarket. An auction for the company will probably kick off early next year, and the company is working on putting together a staple financing package at the moment, according to one of the sources. UBS has been mandated to run the process, the second source said. Valitas’ EBITDA is around USD 50m, according to an industry banker. The company’s main subsidiary, Correctional Medical Services, reached USD 750m in revenues in 2007, according to its website. The company is likely to draw interest from private equity buyers only, as there are no natural strategic buyers for the asset, the banker added. Valitas could draw interest from Maximus, a listed provider of healthcare services to the US government, a second industry banker said. Madison Dearborn backed a management buyout of the Missouri-based company in 1997 from Aramark, the company that provides food service and uniforms to institutions, according to news reports. Under Aramark the division was called Spectrum Healthcare, and included a business that provided contract healthcare services to the US military. That business, however, was sold to Team Health, another Madison Dearborn portfolio holding, in 2002. Team Health itself was sold to the Blackstone Group, in 2005. The company is one of the oldest healthcare investments in Madison Dearborn’s portfolio, the industry banker said. A company spokesperson declined comment, and a Madison Dearborn official did not return calls.

November 8, 2001
Gregory Jennings, Jacqueline Reich, Lorenzo Ingram, Sr., Henry Simmons, Calvin Moore, Billy Roberts and Kathy S. Kearns didn't know each other in life, but they shared a common bond in death: All died in U.S. prisons, the victims not of the death penalty, or at the hands of fellow inmates or guards, but in the allegedly negligent care of a single provider of privatized health services.  Correctional Medical Services (CMS) is a St. Louis, Missouri-based for-profit corporation that contracts to provide health care services to over 270,000 inmates at more than 330 prison sites in 29 states.  A 1998 in-depth investigative report done by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, its hometown newspaper, shed light on the downside of prison care privatization. The Post-Dispatch's investigative team spent five months "visiting prisons and jails; gathering hundreds of police, court and medical records and other documents; and interviewing doctors, nurses, inmates, lawyers, scholars, prison and health experts and families of inmates who died behind bars."  Published in September 1998, "Death, Neglect and the Bottom Line: Push to Cut Costs Poses Risks," found that while CMS successfully reduced the cost of health care to several states, there were "more than 20 cases in which inmates allegedly died as a result of negligence, indifference, understaffing, inadequate training or overzealous cost-cutting."  At the ACLU web site, the civil liberties organization posts a late-January 2001 letter it sent to the Connecticut Department of Correction (CDOC) that claims CMS's health care services -- medical, mental health and dental care -- at the Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap, Virginia is woefully "inadequate."  The ACLU writes: "The health care provided by Correctional Medical Services, the contract provider at [Wallens Ridge], was considered so grossly inadequate that [Virginia Department of Corrections] recently fined CMS nearly one million dollars. The Virginia State Auditor specifically found that CMS did not provide a dentist at [Wallens Ridge] for over three months, and never provided an optometrist. Medical privacy and confidentiality is non-existent at [Wallens Ridge]; as a matter of policy, prisoners are required to discuss their most private medical and mental health issues in the presence of security staff and other prisoners."  In 1998, the Minnesota Department of Corrections contracted with CMS for health care services in its state's prisons.  According to the Twin Cities Independent Media Center, the NAACP called a press conference in mid-October to publicize a lawsuit "over the death of Gregory Jennings, who died in Stillwater prison on April 6, 2001 because the medical staff were indifferent to his complaints of symptoms of diabetes."  Should Calvin Moore, in custody for less than a month at the Kilby Correction Facility in Alabama, have died from being ignored while he lost fifty pounds and exhibited severe symptoms of mental illness, dehydration and starvation? Should Diane Nelson, a 46-year-old mother of three, have died because her request to receive her heart medicine prescribed by her doctor was refused? And what of Charles Guffey, who died of a perforated ulcer because nurses at the Tulsa County Adult Detention Center in Oklahoma refused to pay attention to his complaints of severe abdominal pain? If these folks were around today they'd have a lot to say about the human cost of the growing privatization of prison health care services. Hopefully, privatization will begin to receive the close scrutiny it deserves. That is the least we can do. The deaths of these men and women, while tragic, should not have been in vain.  (AlterNet.org)

Independence, Missouri
January 13, 2009 NBC Action News
A developer withdrew an application to build a private jail in Independence. Turkey Ridge Development was seeking permission from the city of Independence to build a detention center near 23rd and Blue Ridge Boulevard. John Carnes, an attorney for the developer, says they decided to pull the idea after he led an informational meeting with the public on Saturday. Many neighbors were opposed to the jail citing safety concerns and declining property values. Carnes says they will likely build an apartment complex on the lot.

January 10, 2009 KMBC
Some Independence residents are voicing concerns about a private jail that may be built near their homes. Scores of people gathered on Saturday to learn more about the proposal to move the Metropolitan Detention Center to a site north of 23rd Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard. While the $7 million project would bring a strong tax base to the area, neighbors are worried about safety. Frank Smith, of the Private Corrections Institute, said he drove 200 miles to voice his opposition. "People think they're going to get jobs out of this, construction or guard jobs," he said. "The construction is almost never there. They say they're going to make all of the purchases locally, but that's almost never true. Then, they say they're going to hire the guards locally, but people could work at Wendy's and get the same kind of money." Supporters of the idea counted Smith's arguments and said the project would bring construction and guard jobs. The Independence Planning Commission will take up the issue on Tuesday evening at City Hall.

January 9, 2009 Fox 4 News
Some residents in Independence are upset over a proposed private prison being built near 23rd Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard. They say that the prison would affect their safety and property values, but the developer says that facility will be secure and will bring jobs to the area. FOX 4's Monica Evans has the report.

Integrity Correctional Centers
Holden, Missouri
April 20, 2010 AP
Inmates have been removed from a western Missouri private jail near Holden and all but three staff members have been laid off. The general manager of the Integrity Correctional Center said the inmates were moved to another private jail in Bethany and to other facilities. More than 20 staff members at the Holden jail were laid off and the employees remaining are temporary. The Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal reported Tuesday that county officials have discussed buying the Holden jail from Brice Detention. The company wanted $5 million. But negotiations hit a snag because an architect’s review says the facility needs $5 million in renovations. An escape at the Holden facility prompted state lawmakers last year to enact new rules for Missouri’s two private jails.

April 6, 2010 Daily Star-Journal
The county will not be able to insure Integrity Correctional Center as a county jail without modifications, insurance agent Mike Keith said. ICC, a private jail located between Centerview and Holden, is managed by Brice Detention and Services. ICC and Brice officials approached the County Commission in February with an offer to sell or lease the facility to the county. Commissioners said buying the 240-bed facility would be about half the cost of building a 100-bed jail. They said the price -- which includes an admitting building, three dormitories, a gym, sewer treatment plant, generator building and fencing -- is in the $5 million range. Keith said a representative of Savers Property & Casualty toured the facility and said the company "would not insure the facility as it currently sits. We cannot recommend the current setup as adequate for a county jail." Changes Sheriff Chuck Heiss proposed would make the facility acceptable for insurance, Keith said. Heiss told the commission last month that the facility needs modifications to meet state and federal requirements for separating inmates by classifications.

June 16, 2009 AP
The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a private jail in western Missouri must pay taxes on food, clothes and other products for inmates. ICC Management Inc. is a for-profit company running a jail in Johnson County that contracts with local governments. ICC Management claimed it doesn’t need to pay a sales tax on supplies used by inmates because it essentially resold jail supplies to local governments. Missouri sales tax is not charged on items to be resold and later taxed. The state Supreme Court sided against the private jail, concluding that it must pay sales taxes. That’s because local governments are not subject to sales taxes and allowing the jail to avoid sales taxes would mean no tax is levied on the goods.

March 13, 2009 Columbia Missourian
With nearly unanimous support, the state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would, for the first time, make private jails in Missouri subject to state oversight. The bill would also require jails to notify local police officials when an inmate escapes, a reaction to a September incident in which two prisoners fled a private jail near Kansas City and the sheriff's office was not informed for hours. Missouri's two private jails, located in Bethany and Holden, house out-of-state inmates moved because of overcrowding. The Holden facility was the site of last year's escape. Bill sponsor Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, says his legislation would ensure that all jails housing convicted felons are held accountable for reporting incidents like the one in Holden. "Right now, with these jails there is no accountability, no regulation, no oversight," he said. "What this bill tries to do is at least set standards and not have these sort of rogue prisons that are not part of society." The bill seeks to hold private jails to the same standards as county jails and state prisons. It also authorizes the state to fine jails that do not report escapes in a "timely" manner, which Pearce said was designed to avoid a repeat of last year's escape. In September, two prisoners from Kansas City, Kan., escaped from the Holden facility, located in Pearce's district. They escaped at about 5 a.m., according to news reports, but the Johnson County sheriff's office was not notified until 1 p.m. that day, and local residents were not informed until even later. According to Pearce, it was not a crime for the prisoners to flee, something he said makes no sense. "It's not a crime to escape from a private jail," he said. "Once the prison told Johnson County about the escape, the sheriff's office said there was nothing they could do because no crime was committed, and Kansas had to re-introduce charges to arrest them. That's crazy and shouldn't happen again."

February 27, 2009 KSHB TV
The Missouri Catholic Conference is critical of a proposed private jail bill they believe falls short of protecting citizens. The Missouri Senate is poised to debate Senate Bill 44 and the Missouri Catholic Conference is seeking additional protections in the private jail bill. The bill, sponsored by Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), proposes to regulate private jails. The bill was filed in response to an escape of two inmates with violent records from Integrity Correctional Center, a private jail in Johnson County. The inmates apparently escaped through an unlocked door and then tunneled under a fence in the prison recreational area. Integrity officials did not notify the Johnson County Sheriff’s department until 15 hours after the escape. The MCC believes several areas should be strengthened in the bill. “While the bill calls for notifying authorities of any escape, the requirements are incomplete and do not currently apply as written to all counties and cities,” noted Deacon Larry Weber, Executive Director of Missouri Catholic Conference. The bill’s provisions only require reporting of escapes in 3rd and 4th class counties, but not in 2nd class counties like Johnson County, Missouri where the escape took Missouri currently has two private jails in operation in the state, yet there are no state laws regulating the operation of these facilities. SB 44 proposes to establish guidelines for the operation of private correctional facilities. “The provisions in SB 44 are a very small step in the right direction, but they go nowhere near far enough to protect the public from danger and liability,” says Weber.

October 4, 2008 Herald-Tribune
State Representative David Pearce, R-121 and candidate for the Missouri State Senate District 31, is proposing legislation that will require private jails to report certain incidents to local law enforcement. The legislation would require private jails to notify local law enforcement immediately upon the escape of prisoners. Also a reasonable effort must be made to notify local landowners and residents. The legislation is prompted by the recent escape of two prisoners at the ICC private jail in western Johnson County near Holden. The Sheriff's office was not notified until 15 hours after the escape. The legislation has the complete support of Johnson County Sheriff Charles Heiss. "We welcome legislation that will help protect our citizens. We applaud Rep. Pearce on this proposed legislation and look forward to working with him to make this happen," Heiss said. "The Department of Corrections is supportive of Representative Pearce's proposal, it will ensure that the safety of citizens in the community is the number one priority," said Larry Crawford, Director of the Department of Corrections. Also showing support for the proposal was Cass County Sheriff Dwight Diehl, Vernon County Sheriff Ron Peckman, Executive Director of the Missouri Sheriffs Association Mick Covington, President of the Missouri Deputy Sheriffs Association Dave Boehm, Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Stoppy, Holden Police Chief Rick Martin and Holden Mayor Mike Wakeman. The legislation would also require private jails to notify local law enforcement of all incidents of assaults, injuries and death. Penalty provisions could include fines and possible criminal penalties for those individuals who knowingly violate the law.

September 29, 2008 FOX 4 News
Prompted in part by a series of FOX 4 stories, a Missouri lawmaker is announcing legislation aimed at private jails that would demand oversight where none currently exists. The move comes one month after two inmates escaped from a private jail near Holden, Missouri. Surveillance video showed two inmates escaping through a back door at the Integrity Correctional Center, but the jail said it didn't realize the men were gone until the next afternoon. The sheriff said it was nearly four hours later that he was notified and even later for surrounding neighbors. "This would be one of the first pieces of legislation I would file on December 1," Rep. David Pearce said. Now State Rep. Pearce, surrounded by law enforcement leaders, said he's filing a bill to hold private jails accountable. Long before the escape, FOX 4 told you about an inmate who died at ICC, and a guard who was attacked, but whose assault was never reported to the sheriff by the privately owned jail. "When you're in that profit driven business and your overhead begins to grow and your profit margin begins to shrink, you begin to take short cuts and people get hurt," Johnson County, Missouri Sheriff Charles Heiss said. That's why the sheriff says ICC needs oversight, something the jail's own director, David Burris, said he embraces. He wouldn't consent to an on-camera interview but said the jail already does nearly everything the legislation would mandate. Integrity Correctional Center likes to advertise itself as a minimum level detention center, but the two man who escaped last month were both maximum level inmates. "You don't want to house a maximum level security person right next to a minimum security person so that will certainly be something we consider," Rep. Pearce said. Rep. Pearce said the jail could face fines and legal penalties if it doesn't report crimes and jail escapes in a timely manner. He said the goal isn't to put private jails out of business, just to regulate them like any other business. As for the two men who escaped: one was caught in Kansas City, Kansas and the other remains on the loose. The jail admits that it's still not sure how they escaped.

September 1, 2008 FOX 4 News
A jail break by two inmates at a privately run jail has the sheriff and neighbors in Johnson County, Missouri furious. It appears the two escapees had a huge head start before anyone was notified. There is still no sign of the escapees who were last seen at the Integrity Correctional Center at about 5 a.m. Sunday in Centerview, about 50 miles southeast of Kansas City. The sheriff wasn't notified until 1 p.m. and neighbors found out even later. Anthony Eisele and Rob Mills were both awaiting trial in Wyandotte County, Kansas for serious felonies. Eisele is accused of aggravated kidnapping, robbery and burglary. Mills was charged with assaulting a police officer and is a listed sex offender in Kansas. "I was very upset, upset with the jail for not notifying us," neighbor Katherine Clifton said. Clifton can see the jail from her backyard. Sheriff deputies knocked on her door 6 p.m. Sunday, some 12 hours after the escape might have happened. "Could have been in my car without me expecting it. At least if I'd have known there was something going on I could have been aware," Clifton said. The 200 bed jail doesn't answer to the sheriff or even the state. It's privately run and claims it's Christian based. FOX 4 Problem Solvers first reported on the jail two years ago after former guards told us the place was a disaster waiting to happen: lax security and understaffed, charges the jail disputed. The sheriff said at the time of the escape one female, unarmed, was in charge of nearly 50 male inmates at the dorm where the escape began. The two escapees would have had to crawl under or over two fences to get out. "If they had time to climb the fence there's not enough guards to watch," Mike Bolyard said. The sheriff admits he has not had a search crew looking for the men on Monday. He assumes they left the area. Neighbors wonder if the two men might have hopped a train because tracks run right next to the jail. "I mean you just never know where they're at right now. I mean the train slows down and sometimes it even stops there," Bolyard said. Neighbors said the jail promised six years ago, when it first opened, to notify them immediately if there was ever an escape. Instead the jail's director Dave Burris is keeping quiet, ignoring neighbors and us. "I think it should be shut down," Clifton said. Neighbors tried to stop this jail from moving in six years ago but Johnson County, Missouri had no zoning to stop it. The sheriff believes the two escapees could be heading to Kansas, where they are from. He said they should be considered extremely dangerous.

October 27, 2006 AP
For those who knew and cared about Angela Lockridge, this much was clear: she could be difficult. At 42, she was mentally retarded, epileptic and dependent on medication to treat her borderline personality disorder. But nothing prepared her family and friends for the way Lockridge died: alone in a segregated cell in one of Missouri's private jails, which are run without state oversight or standards. Operators of the Integrity Correctional Centers in rural Johnson County were told the cause of death was epilepsy, a neurological condition that causes seizures. But Johnson County Sheriff Charles Heiss, who led the investigation into Lockridge's death and has found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, nevertheless has been angered by the prison's "guarded" response to his probe and obstacles blocking his way to potential witnesses. Heiss, an outspoken critic of private jails and prisons, blames those obstacles on the manner in which private jails are operated and at least in part on the lack of state standards and oversight. "Am I surprised she died? No," Heiss said. "Am I upset and concerned about her death? Yes." Bernie Zarda, president of ICC, defends his "Christian-owned and operated" prison. He says although there is no state or federal oversight of his facility, oversight of ICC rests with the cities and counties that send their inmates there. He also questioned the motives for the investigation. "I am not really sure why there has been an ongoing investigation," Zarda said. "The sheriff is giving information that makes us look not so great. We run a very top-notch, first-class facility with some 20 jurisdictions in Kansas and Missouri, and we have never had a death before. Sharon Dolovich, a law professor at UCLA who has written extensively about private prisons, said while there are several concerns about private prisons just as there are about government-run prisons, a major problem in private facilities is staffing. The median annual earnings for prison guards in 2004 was $33,750 at state prisons, $33,080 at local jails and $21,490 at private prisons, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "The one meaningful difference is the dramatic under-investment in labor (in private prisons)," Dolovich said. "The way private prisons make their money is by spending less on their labor; they pay them less, they train them less and they give them fewer benefits. "There are predictable effects of doing that." She pointed to a study from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance that compared inmate assaults in public prisons over a year with that of private facilities over the same period. The survey found 25.4 incidents for every 1,000 inmates in public prisons, compared with 35.1 incidents in private facilities. "I would put what we know about the profit incentives together with what we know about the failures of monitoring and other forms of oversight," Dolovich said in an e-mail. "When we do that, it seems to me, we have both an explanation for the greater levels of violence in private prisons suggested by the older studies, and reason to continue to expect greater levels of violence in private prisons going forward." But Paul Doucette, spokesman for the Association of Private Corrections and Treatment Organizations, says private facilities are a necessary alternative to overcrowding in the public prisons and have become more popular with the federal government, largely because of the influx of immigrants and refugees. "Research would indicate a quality of operations in private prisons every bit as good or better than the government-run facilities," Doucette said. "There's no cutting of corners and diminishing of services. Lockridge was confined to a segregated cell in a male dorm at ICC on Aug. 1 because she had been making herself throw up. "She was sticking her finger down her throat, and they asked her to stop and help clean it up and some other things," Zarda said. She was found dead in the cell the next morning. Neer had never known his sister to make herself vomit. If Lockridge was throwing up, he said, it was because she was sick. Neer also wondered if Lockridge had received any of her medications while incarcerated. The prison did not respond to requests for Lockridge's medical records. Most inmate death investigations involving county jails last about a week, Heiss said. This one took him more than a month to wrap up. He said ICC policies and procedures slowed him down. When he tried to interview inmates who were witnesses, ICC told him he needed the approval of the county or city that sent those inmates to ICC. Some jurisdictions complied immediately. Wyandotte County, Kan., did not respond to his calls. "We should have been able to get to these inmates in a matter of days," Heiss said. "And some of the inmates I wouldn't even begin to know where they are now." Heiss found other problems as well, including prison logs that showed Lockridge had not been checked on hourly as ordered after she was put in segregation. Zarda called it a clerical error. "We have an officer who failed to log her checks every time," Zarda said. "But she was checked every hour."

Joplin City Jail
Joplin, Missouri
GRW

August 11, 2008 Joplin Globe
Joplin will take over operations of the city jail and a transportation service instead of contracting the services to outside vendors, the City Council decided Monday night. The decision was based on a projection that the city could save more than $800,000 over the next five years by taking over the operations. The council made the decision at a work session that preceded a “City Hall in the Park” informal session at the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center in Wildcat Park. Budget director Leslie Jones told the council that the Metro Area Publictransit System contract was bid out last year, and the contracted operator, Access Transit, recently notified the city that it cannot honor the contract beyond Oct. 31 because of the increased cost of fuel. The jail contract with GRW, of Brentwood, Tenn., expires Oct. 31.

May 14, 2007 Joplin Globe
A Joplin city jail inmate is dead after he was found hanging from the ceiling of the jail about 7:34 a.m. today. According to Lt. Geoff Jones of the police department, attempts to revive the man were unsuccessful. He was being held in a two-person cell by himself awaiting court in Joplin and possible extradition to Greene County. Detectives with the Joplin Police Department are investigating the death and an autopsy is scheduled for later today. The name of the vicitm is being withheld pending notification of family members. The Joplin City Jail is operated by GRW Corporation, a private security company. Jones said this is the first in-custody death at the Joplin jail since 1997, when GRW took over day-to-day operations.

Medium Security Institute
St. Louis, Missouri
Corizon (formerly CMS)

August 30, 2012 ACLU Press Release
The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri’s civil suit against the city of St. Louis and Correctional Medical Services, the medical provider for the city jails that is now known as Corizon, was dismissed today. Originally filed in 2010 on behalf of an HIV-positive inmate at the Medium Security Institute in St. Louis, the ACLU-EM’s lawsuit cited life-threatening deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition. The inmate, known as John Doe to protect his privacy, was incarcerated in early 2010 and for the first 20 days of his stay was denied the life-saving medication for which he had a daily prescription. During that period he was given only Tylenol, despite repeated attempts by him, a friend and his doctor to re-establish his prescribed medical regime. “No one awaiting trial should ever be denied medical care,” says Brenda L. Jones, executive director of the ACLU-EM. “But, this case was especially egregious because people who are HIV-positive can quickly build resistance to medications that are not taken consistently.” Tony Rothert, the ACLU-EM’s legal director, said “This gross violation of our client’s constitutional rights caused him suffering, mental and emotional distress, and great fear of physical harm. Even worse is the gross incompetence displayed by Corizon, the company that also provides medical services to the state of Missouri’s prisons.” The case was dismissed as part of a settlement agreement. A condition of the settlement prevents the disclosure of the amount of settlement funds paid to Doe.

Midwest Security Housing
Pattonsburg, Missouri
Midwest Security

May 30, 2007 Des Moines Register
An escaped Missouri convict was captured in Des Moines today, said Neil Shultz of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Abdul Jackson had been missing since Friday from the Midwest Security Housing in Pattonsburg, Mo. He was arrested at 3422 S.W. Eighth St. Shultz said he understood Jackson’s mother lives at the house. Shultz said Jackson, who was considered dangerous by authorities, was arrested without incident. Jackson is a Polk County inmate who was in Missouri due to jail crowding, Shultz said. He was being held on possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine, burglary, traffic and a plethora of other charges. Shultz said Jackson will now also be charged with escape from custody. Midwest Security Housing is a privately operated prison in Missouri, used frequently by Polk County to house inmates. Shultz said the facility is "secure" but "sometimes, things happen. We’re glad we have him in custody again.” Jackson is currently being held in the Polk County Jail. "I don't anticipate we'll be sending him back to Missouri," Shultz said.

Missouri Legislature
March 13, 2009 Columbia Missourian
With nearly unanimous support, the state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would, for the first time, make private jails in Missouri subject to state oversight. The bill would also require jails to notify local police officials when an inmate escapes, a reaction to a September incident in which two prisoners fled a private jail near Kansas City and the sheriff's office was not informed for hours. Missouri's two private jails, located in Bethany and Holden, house out-of-state inmates moved because of overcrowding. The Holden facility was the site of last year's escape. Bill sponsor Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, says his legislation would ensure that all jails housing convicted felons are held accountable for reporting incidents like the one in Holden. "Right now, with these jails there is no accountability, no regulation, no oversight," he said. "What this bill tries to do is at least set standards and not have these sort of rogue prisons that are not part of society." The bill seeks to hold private jails to the same standards as county jails and state prisons. It also authorizes the state to fine jails that do not report escapes in a "timely" manner, which Pearce said was designed to avoid a repeat of last year's escape. In September, two prisoners from Kansas City, Kan., escaped from the Holden facility, located in Pearce's district. They escaped at about 5 a.m., according to news reports, but the Johnson County sheriff's office was not notified until 1 p.m. that day, and local residents were not informed until even later. According to Pearce, it was not a crime for the prisoners to flee, something he said makes no sense. "It's not a crime to escape from a private jail," he said. "Once the prison told Johnson County about the escape, the sheriff's office said there was nothing they could do because no crime was committed, and Kansas had to re-introduce charges to arrest them. That's crazy and shouldn't happen again."

February 27, 2009 KSHB TV
The Missouri Catholic Conference is critical of a proposed private jail bill they believe falls short of protecting citizens. The Missouri Senate is poised to debate Senate Bill 44 and the Missouri Catholic Conference is seeking additional protections in the private jail bill. The bill, sponsored by Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), proposes to regulate private jails. The bill was filed in response to an escape of two inmates with violent records from Integrity Correctional Center, a private jail in Johnson County. The inmates apparently escaped through an unlocked door and then tunneled under a fence in the prison recreational area. Integrity officials did not notify the Johnson County Sheriff’s department until 15 hours after the escape. The MCC believes several areas should be strengthened in the bill. “While the bill calls for notifying authorities of any escape, the requirements are incomplete and do not currently apply as written to all counties and cities,” noted Deacon Larry Weber, Executive Director of Missouri Catholic Conference. The bill’s provisions only require reporting of escapes in 3rd and 4th class counties, but not in 2nd class counties like Johnson County, Missouri where the escape took Missouri currently has two private jails in operation in the state, yet there are no state laws regulating the operation of these facilities. SB 44 proposes to establish guidelines for the operation of private correctional facilities. “The provisions in SB 44 are a very small step in the right direction, but they go nowhere near far enough to protect the public from danger and liability,” says Weber.

October 4, 2008 Herald-Tribune
State Representative David Pearce, R-121 and candidate for the Missouri State Senate District 31, is proposing legislation that will require private jails to report certain incidents to local law enforcement. The legislation would require private jails to notify local law enforcement immediately upon the escape of prisoners. Also a reasonable effort must be made to notify local landowners and residents. The legislation is prompted by the recent escape of two prisoners at the ICC private jail in western Johnson County near Holden. The Sheriff's office was not notified until 15 hours after the escape. The legislation has the complete support of Johnson County Sheriff Charles Heiss. "We welcome legislation that will help protect our citizens. We applaud Rep. Pearce on this proposed legislation and look forward to working with him to make this happen," Heiss said. "The Department of Corrections is supportive of Representative Pearce's proposal, it will ensure that the safety of citizens in the community is the number one priority," said Larry Crawford, Director of the Department of Corrections. Also showing support for the proposal was Cass County Sheriff Dwight Diehl, Vernon County Sheriff Ron Peckman, Executive Director of the Missouri Sheriffs Association Mick Covington, President of the Missouri Deputy Sheriffs Association Dave Boehm, Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Stoppy, Holden Police Chief Rick Martin and Holden Mayor Mike Wakeman. The legislation would also require private jails to notify local law enforcement of all incidents of assaults, injuries and death. Penalty provisions could include fines and possible criminal penalties for those individuals who knowingly violate the law.

Northwest Missouri State University
Maryville, Missouri
Aramark

September 14, 2011 Maryville Daily Forum
Northwest Missouri State University's Board of Regents has wasted little time in addressing findings delivered in a state audit declaring that the school violated the Missouri Constitution by failing to solicit competitive bids from its food service, facilities maintenance and bookstore vendors. Instead of bidding out the contracts as required by state law, Northwest extended arrangements with Aramark and Barnes & Noble for years in exchange for $1.5 million in donations to the Northwest Foundation to fund football stadium improvements. In a formal response to the State Auditor Tom Schweich's findings, Northwest President John Jasinski committed the university to a competitive bidding process that would end with the awarding of new vendor contracts within 24 to 36 months. The regents, however, moved that deadline forward last week, pledging to begin the request-for-proposal process as soon as October with a goal of having new facilities management and bookstore contracts in place by the end of next summer. Awarding a new food service contract will take a bit longer, but Northwest finance chief Stacey Carrick said she expects a deal to be in place by May 2013. Getting its fiscal house in order could be expensive for Northwest. Current contracts provide for prorated refunds of vendor donations if contracts are not extended through 2017. However, Carrick said such penalties will not be a factor as Northwest moves forward with new bid requests. University Counsel Scott Sullivan said staggering the contract awards is necessary in order to avoid logistical problems associated with making major changes in connection with key student services all at once. Negotiating three major vendor deals at the same time, he said, could create "real conflicts with a very short amount of time to deal with them." Sullivan added that completing the contract award process in about 18 months ― as opposed to two or three years ― should serve as a strong statement that Northwest is acting in a timely fashion to address audit findings that suggest sloppy fiscal management on a number of fronts. In addition to trading contracts for stadium money, Northwest is also said to have committed fiscal improprieties by using $3.3 million over three years to subsidize the non-profit Northwest Foundation, another constitutional violation. Also, following his retirement, former university President Dean Hubbard apparently received more than a quarter-million dollars in cash payments and other benefits for which few or no services were rendered ― yet another violation of state law.

Potosi Correctional Center
Potosi, Missouri
Correctional Medical Services

January 1, 2006 Daily Journal
A former nurse for Correctional Medical Services has been charged for allegedly stealing prescriptions from the Potosi Correctional Center. Lisa Peery, 41, of Farmington, was recently charged with one Class A misdemeanor count of stealing. If convicted, she could be sentenced to a year in the county jail or fined $1,000. Peery worked as a nurse for Correctional Medical Services under a contract with the Missouri Department of Corrections. According to court records, Peery stole prescription medications and medical supplies from the unit and took them to her house. The thefts reportedly occurred between January and June of this year. The medications that were removed include a dosage of Vistaril, used for the treatment of anxiety and tension, that was prescribed to an offender at Potosi and a dosage of Cogentin, which is used in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, that was prescribed to another offender there.

Ray County
Ray County, Missouri
Correctional Medical Services

January 13, 2004
A man who escaped from a private jail in Ray County turned himself in early today after being missing for several hours.  Officers said Frank Randal Lumley, 42, escaped about 4:20 a.m. from a private jail in Henrietta, Mo. Lumley attacked a security guard and stole the man's keys, said Ray County Sheriff Sam Clemens.  (The Kansas City Star)

Richard Bolling Federal Building
Kansas City, Missouri
Aramark

November 5, 2009 InfoZine
Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the former food service director at the Richard Bolling Federal Building in Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty in federal court to assisting an illegal alien who was using a false Social Security number in order to work in the cafeteria. Christopher Wenell, 44, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays this afternoon to a federal information that charges him with Social Security fraud. Wenell was the Food Service Director for Aramark Services, Inc., the contractor which operates the cafeteria in the federal building. Wenell admitted that he recruited Luis Carreon, an illegal alien from Mexico, to work for Aramark. Between Dec. 9, 2005, and Sept. 25, 2007, Wenell assisted Carreon in using false Social Security cards by re-employing him, knowing that the Social Security cards were false. In a separate but related case, Carreon was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to Social Security fraud and identity theft. In other related cases, former Aramark employees Felipe Carreon and Francisco J. Munoz-Carmona, also illegal aliens from Mexico, and Nilda A. Franco and Fania L. Garza, both illegal aliens from Guatemala, also pleaded guilty and were sentenced on similar charges contained in a series of indictments returned on Nov. 6, 2007.

St Louis Justice Center
St Louis, Missouri
Corizon (bought Correctional Medical Services)
May 24, 2012 Post-Dispatch
About an hour after a doctor instructed St. Louis jail staff to send inmate Courtland Lucas to a hospital immediately, medical records show, the 31-year-old prisoner collapsed in a cell and soon died. The lapse is among a variety of medical missteps alleged in a wrongful-death and malpractice lawsuit against the private contractor that provides medical care for the St. Louis Justice Center. Medical records obtained by lawyers for Lucas' family also contain a nurse's notes indicating a belief at the time that his episodes were 'staged." Lucas died May 25, 2009, from complications of a heart problem, congenital aortic valve stenosis while under the care of Correctional Medical Services Inc. CMS merged last year with PHS Correctional Healthcare to form Corizon. It provides medical coverage to more than 400,000 inmates at 400 correctional facilities across the country, including St. Louis, where its operational headquarters is located. A company spokesman, Pat Nolan, said: "Corizon and its employees work hard every day to provide quality care to thousands of inmates across the country." Mayor Francis Slay's spokeswoman, Kara Bowlin, would not comment on specific allegations. She noted that the city spends nearly $7 million each year on inmate health care and "takes seriously its obligation to provide health care services to the people it confines, many of whom come to us with serious medical problems." The suit, filed this month by the St. Louis Lawyers Group on behalf of Lucas' minor son, Trayon Lucas-McNairy, seeks unspecified damages over $25,000 from CMS but does not name the city as a defendant. Burton Newman, one of his attorneys, said in an interview: "We found several individuals who were quoted on the record as recognizing the care that this gentleman needed, but other individuals seem to have failed to recognize the care needed, or ignored the care needed." It is the second attempt at compensation in the case. A prior wrongful-death suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the city and the health care provider, was voluntarily dismissed last year on a legal technicality. DETERIORATING HEALTH -- Lucas, the youngest of 14 children, was a jokester who wrote poetry and announced a new commitment to God, his family told the Post-Dispatch in 2010. He had been a restaurant manager but struggled with drugs, including heroin, for the last four years of his life. Medical records show Lucas long suffered from serious heart problems, which required several valve replacements and a hospitalization in 2009 for swelling and an irregular heartbeat. He was diabetic, suffered from hypertension and had a pacemaker. When he was arrested by St. Louis police May 20, 2009, on a parole violation — he had a record of drug and traffic offenses — he was taken to St. Alexius Hospital, complaining of chest pain. Doctor's orders from that visit set out a plan for checking his blood sugar and administering insulin. Later orders from a jail physician offered a similar schedule. But Lucas' lawyers, one with a medical degree, say evidence shows the orders were not consistently followed. The suit refers to medical records it says reflect neglect. The plaintiff's lawyer provided a Post-Dispatch reporter with CMS documents that show: • May 24, afternoon: Lucas, in a narcotics detoxification unit, shows signs of trouble. His blood sugar level is elevated, at 228. Nurses administer insulin but don't record another blood-sugar check until the next day. • May 24, 7:15 p.m.: Lucas complains of a fast heartbeat and hallucinations, talking of "little people" in his room. A nurse notes he is agitated and perspiring. A jail physician has asked to be called about any changes in Lucas' mental status but there is no record of such a call; Lucas' lawyers maintain it wasn't made. • May 25, 4 a.m.: Lucas asks to go to a hospital and says he doesn't want to die in the jail. He is taken by wheelchair to an examining room. Nurses try to draw blood but note that it's too thick. Existing hospital orders call for a doctor's care if his blood sugar rises above 300; it is now 325. There is no note of any insulin being administered. • May 25, 1:10 p.m.: A nurse notes Lucas' altered mental status and also writes that "all episodes appear to be staged as (Lucas) easily comes back to normal conversation." • May 25, 5:30 p.m.: Lucas is found lying in his cell in a 'stuporous condition" and answers questions 'sluggishly," according to a nurse's notes. Insulin is administered but there is no note of his sugar being checked. Nurses have trouble detecting his pulse and blood pressure, but ultimately find his heart rate is high, at 160. • May 25, 5:45 p.m.: The on-call physician orders Lucas taken to a hospital emergency room immediately. • May 25, about 7 p.m.: Lucas is still waiting for transport. A sheriff's deputy reports that Lucas has collapsed while sitting in a wheelchair. Records indicate a lost minute while medical staff struggles to have the doors to the holding unit opened by master control. • May 25, 7:10 p.m.: Paramedics arrive and take Lucas to St. Louis University Hospital. • May 25, 7:54 p.m.: Lucas is pronounced dead. OTHER CLAIMS OF NEGLECT -- CMS which has worked for Missouri's prison system since 1992 and has for decades been one of the biggest inmate health care contractors, has been a target of criticism before. It was the main subject of a 1998 Post-Dispatch investigation, which showed that inmates died in more than 20 cases due to negligence, indifference, understaffing, inadequate training or cost-cutting. Such concerns rose again in 2007 after the death of LaVonda Kimble, 30, from an asthma attack at the St. Louis Justice Center. A fire department report, obtained by a lawyer for her family, showed paramedics encountered delays and apathy when trying to get into the jail. Autopsy findings showed no trace of a drug that jail nurses said they repeatedly administered to ease Kimble's breathing. "The discovery in this case showed they did little to nothing for her. They just watched her die," according to her family's attorney, John Wallach. A confidential settlement of that suit was reached last year and fulfilled in the past few weeks. Wallach said that "justice was done to the extent that the law would allow..." In 2010, the ACLU alleged in federal court that an HIV-positive John Doe plaintiff was deprived of medications for 17 days, even though he told jail staff of his condition and his physician faxed information about his medicines and dosages. Also that year, Vanessa Evans, 37, died hours after she complained to staff about having trouble breathing. Jail officials said she appeared fine a half hour earlier. Evans' family complained that the company failed to take her claims seriously despite her history of asthma. Newman said Lucas' case is another chapter in a sad history. He complained: "It's tragic that a man with known medical conditions was incarcerated in the city jail and did not receive any of the medical care that he was not only entitled to, but ... the medical officials at the jail knew he needed."

November 19, 2010 Post-Dispatch
Medical care in city jails, already the subject of wrongful-death lawsuits, was challenged again on Thursday with an ACLU claim that an HIV-positive inmate was deprived of his medications for 17 days and got only sporadic care thereafter. A lawsuit filed in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri alleges that the John Doe plaintiff was deprived of his rights at both the Justice Center downtown and the Medium Security Institution on Hall Street. "It's inexcusable, and it's serious," said Tony Rothert, legal director for the ACLU here. The ACLU says this case and others reflect a pattern of failures at the lockups. It made specific allegations in a 2009 report that accused the jails of inadequate medical attention, inmate abuse, falsification of reports and unsanitary conditions. The latest suit names the city and a contractor, Correctional Medical Services, as defendants, along with the jail superintendent, Eugene Stubblefield, and two CMS physicians, Drs. Brenda Mallard and Susan Singer. Deputy City Counselor Nancy Kistler responded, "Contrary to the claims of the ACLU, the records of the inmate in question reflect that he received adequate medical care consistent with his constitutional rights." CMS issued a statement saying it provides quality care, saying it cannot comment on specifics because of confidentiality laws.

October 27, 2010 Post-Dispatch
The 31-year-old collapsed from heart failure at the St. Louis Justice Center on May 25, 2009, five days after he was arrested for a probation violation. His family said he had been taken into custody because he missed a meeting with his probation officer. After he collapsed, he was transported to St. Louis University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Lucas had chronic heart disease and used a pacemaker. In a wrongful death lawsuit filed this month against the city and the jail's health care provider on behalf of Lucas' family, the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri contends jail officials failed to provide Lucas with adequate medical care or the necessary medications to treat his condition. "I'm just upset and angry because the system failed him," said one of Lucas' sisters, Landa Poke. The private contractor that provides medical care at the jail says the lawsuit's version of how Lucas died has inaccuracies and insists its staff is "experienced and well-trained." But ACLU officials in St. Louis say Lucas' death is the result of what they see as a series of breakdowns at city jails, including inadequate medical care.

October 12, 2010 AP
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a wrongful death lawsuit over the death of a jail inmate in St. Louis, claiming he did not get proper care for a heart condition. The ACLU filed suit Tuesday on behalf of Landa Poke. Her brother, 32-year-old Courtland Lucas, died at the St. Louis City Justice Center in May 2009, five days after he was jailed on a probation violation. The ACLU says Lucas had chronic heart disease and was wearing a pacemaker when taken into custody. The suit contends Correctional Medical Services failed to provide proper medications or care for Lucas. A spokesman for CMS says the company has not yet seen the lawsuit and cannot comment on the allegations. A message left with a spokeswoman for the city of St. Louis was not returned.

December 4, 2008 St Louis Post-Dispatch
The family of a woman who died of an asthma attack while being held at the St. Louis City Justice Center filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against the medical company providing care at the jail. LaVonda Kimble, 30, died April 11, 2007 of an acute asthma attack. She was supposed to have been released on bond posted hours earlier in Bel-Nor, which had a traffic warrant against her. But her release was delayed by a paperwork mixup. The suit alleges that health workers with Correctional Medical Services failed to properly evaluate Kimble, provide adequate care, call for emergency help in a timely manner and use an electric defibrillator to restore her heart rhythm. Kimble's mother, Annie Kimble, is asking for more than $25,000 in damages on behalf of her grandson. Documents in the case include a sizzling complaint by one of the St. Louis Fire Department paramedics called to the scene , who noted that it took up to eight minutes to get to the patient after arrival at the jail, and that jail nurses failed to use a defibrillator . The medic also complained in writing that jail staff distracted medics, and that firefighters who arrived ahead of the medic crew said they found someone doing CPR by pressing Kimble's stomach instead of her chest. A St. Louis Corrections Department report of the incident found no violation of policies or procedures. Officials at Correctional Medical Services, a national company based in St. Louis, could not be immediately reached.

June 8, 2007 St Louis Post-Dispatch
As city officials dig into a paramedic's claim that poor jail medical care contributed to the death of a woman held on a traffic charge, they enter a realm that has vexed comptrollers and courts alike. How do jails and prisons give inmates the help to which they're legally entitled on what the taxpayers are willing to pay? Problems most often stem from tight budgets and poor management, according to industry experts, who say the care nationally is dramatically better than in decades past. "We've made huge improvements, but there are still a lot of places that have problems," said Edward Harrison, president of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. "The problems that we encounter are often tied into management and personnel issues, both directly affected by budgets." St. Louis typically pays more than $5 million a year to a private contractor, Correctional Medical Services Inc. An official of the Creve Coeur-based company insisted Thursday that it provides quality care. City Public Safety Director Sam Simon, whose oversees the city's corrections and fire departments, promised this week to reconcile their very different conclusions on what happened the night of April 10. His boss, Mayor Francis Slay, said on his website Thursday: "An internal investigation was conducted by the Division of Corrections. However, I am disturbed by the fact that the report showed the young woman was given treatment for her asthma but none of the medicine was found in her bloodstream during the initial autopsy report." That discrepancy has not been explained. LaVonda Kimble, 30, died April 11 of an acute asthma attack at the St. Louis Justice Center. She was supposed to have been released on bond posted hours earlier in Bel-Nor, which had a traffic warrant against her. But her release was delayed by a paperwork mix-up. Documents gathered by a lawyer for her family included a sizzling complaint by one of the Fire Department paramedics, who noted that it took up to eight minutes to get to the patient after arrival at the jail, and that jail nurses failed to use a defibrillator to try restart her heart. The medic also complained in writing that jail staff distracted medics, and that firefighters who arrived ahead of the medic crew said they found someone doing CPR by pressing Kimble's stomach instead of her chest. A Corrections Department report of the incident found no violation of policies or procedures. City officials promised further action after the conflicting accounts became public. They said the health care contract was first awarded during Mayor Clarence Harmon's administration, before Slay took office in 2001. A spokesman for Slay said the mayor's office doesn't know the identity of the five-member panel that selected CMS, because there are always a number of panels, made up of different people, charged with handling myriad city contracts. The mayor's office has asked Simon for the names. Simon told a reporter late Thursday he doesn't know but was working to find out. One of the nurses on duty when Kimble died, Leamorn D. Wiegert, was disciplined by the state just four days before the incident, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Wiegert is a licensed practical nurse; her license is on probation and she is included on the state employee disqualification list, which means the state found that she committed an act of abuse, neglect, misappropriation or falsification. Discipline is extremely rare for licensed nurses in Missouri. In the past year, only two-tenths of 1 percent were issued any type of disciplinary action — from censure to license revocation. Details of the complaint against her were not available. She could not be reached for comment Thursday. Ken Fields, a spokesman for Correctional Medical Services, said Thursday he could not talk about the details of the Kimble case. But he faulted the paramedic's report, saying it included contradictions and unsubstantiated hearsay.

June 7, 2007 St Louis Post-Dispatch
A delay in letting paramedics into the city jail and "substandard" emergency care by staff there may have doomed an inmate who suffered an asthma attack, according to a blistering report by the fire department. One of the paramedics who treated LaVonda Kimble early April 11 wrote of commonly encountering delays and apathy on calls to the St. Louis Justice Center, at 200 South Tucker Boulevard. And autopsy findings obtained Wednesday showed no trace of the drug that jail nurses said they repeatedly administered to ease Kimble's breathing. The reports were obtained with a court order by John Wallach, a lawyer representing Kimble's family in considering a wrongful death lawsuit. He shared them Wednesday with the Post-Dispatch. "People don't generally die of an asthma attack when they go to the hospital," Wallach said. "I fully believe our evidence will show if she was treated properly, she would have been fine." Sam Simon, the city director of public safety, pledged to learn more about what happened, and about the medical care provided under contract for more than $5 million a year by Correctional Medical Services. The Creve Coeur-based private company has come under heavy criticism in Missouri and elsewhere for years. Kimble, 30, the single mother of a 12-year-old child, wasn't supposed to be in jail in the first place. Her boyfriend had posted bond for her about 6:30 p.m. on April 10 in Bel-Nor, which had a traffic warrant against her. That was about four hours after her arrest by St. Louis police. But a release order went to the wrong jail, a mistake that wasn't corrected until she was already dying. Kimble fell ill about 10:20 p.m. According to jail records, she received three separate treatments of Albuterol, a medication to ease breathing, before she collapsed at 1:25 a.m. Firefighters from nearby Engine Co. 2 arrived at 1:40 a.m. and began CPR. Medic 5 was five minutes behind, but spent seven or eight minutes thereafter waiting to get in, according to a report by fire department paramedic Chastity Girolami. The delay was "detrimental to the patient's outcome," Girolami wrote. She said firefighters told her they had arrived to find nurses trying to perform CPR by compressing Kimble's stomach instead of her chest. Girolami noted that when medics asked a nurse if she had used an automatic defibrillator to try to restore Kimble's heartbeat, "She just looked at us and asked what we were talking about." The jail care was "substandard at best," Girolami wrote in her report. She also wrote that a corrections officer distracted paramedics with questions about their ID numbers while they struggled to save Kimble's life; the medics twice asked jailers to back off. "She kept persisting and finally my partner informed the staff that this patient was in cardiac arrest and basically dying, and they would have to wait," Girolami wrote. "The staff was surprised at this. They didn't know the patient was in cardiac arrest." Kimble was rushed to St. Louis University Hospital, where she died at 2:44 a.m. "This experience at the Justice Center was by far my worst," Girolami wrote. She complained, "Every time I've been to the Justice Center, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to even get to the patient. There is never anyone to guide us and never any sense of urgency." Her report was one of a variety of documents Kimble's family has gathered in preparation of a wrongful-death lawsuit. The autopsy report shows that corrections officials asked for and got a special toxicology test for Albuterol, and that none was detected. Wallach said the medical examiner plans to send samples to an outside laboratory for further testing. "If, in fact, she was not given Albuterol, then the official records are false," the lawyer said, "If that's the case, LaVonda's civil rights were blatantly violated and it led to her death." An internal investigation concluded, "There was no evidence that the Division of Corrections violated any policies or procedures." But Simon, the public safety director, said Wednesday there will be an investigation to reconcile reports from the fire department, corrections department and medical examiner. "We need to conclude our investigation and determine what happened," Simon said. "What I know is these are just allegations at this point." Ken Fields, spokesman for Correctional Medical Services, said he could not comment on a specific patient. However, he insisted that the jail's medical staff is trained to properly administer life support techniques, including CPR and use of automated external defibrillators. "Our services and equipment are in keeping with the standards of care in the community," Fields said. "All nurses at CMS are licensed by the appropriate entity and are qualified to provide the care they are asked to provide."

St Louis Medium Security Institution
St Louis, Missouri
Correctional Medical Services

November 19, 2010 Post-Dispatch
Medical care in city jails, already the subject of wrongful-death lawsuits, was challenged again on Thursday with an ACLU claim that an HIV-positive inmate was deprived of his medications for 17 days and got only sporadic care thereafter. A lawsuit filed in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri alleges that the John Doe plaintiff was deprived of his rights at both the Justice Center downtown and the Medium Security Institution on Hall Street. "It's inexcusable, and it's serious," said Tony Rothert, legal director for the ACLU here. The ACLU says this case and others reflect a pattern of failures at the lockups. It made specific allegations in a 2009 report that accused the jails of inadequate medical attention, inmate abuse, falsification of reports and unsanitary conditions. The latest suit names the city and a contractor, Correctional Medical Services, as defendants, along with the jail superintendent, Eugene Stubblefield, and two CMS physicians, Drs. Brenda Mallard and Susan Singer. Deputy City Counselor Nancy Kistler responded, "Contrary to the claims of the ACLU, the records of the inmate in question reflect that he received adequate medical care consistent with his constitutional rights." CMS issued a statement saying it provides quality care, saying it cannot comment on specifics because of confidentiality laws.

June 17, 2009 St Louis Post-Dispatch
The family of a nurse who worked at the St. Louis Medium Security Institution filed a lawsuit Friday claiming she suffered permanent injury when she was not given prompt medical attention after collapsing at the jail on Hall Street in March. The suit accuses the city of St. Louis, Correctional Medical Services, St. Louis Public Safety Director Charles Bryson and two correctional officers for failing to provide adequate care. Karen Thomas lost consciousness from an irregular heart rhythm and suffered brain injury, according to the suit. Her daughter, Jeniece Henderson, claims a properly working defibrillator could have prevented the injury.

St Louis MetroLink
St Louis, Missouri
Wackenhut (Group 4)

May 21, 2008 River Front Times
Less than two months into a three-year, $13.1 million contract to provide armed security at MetroLink stations, Metro and the Wackenhut Corporation abruptly parted ways. Another security company, the Swedish-based Securitas, has taken over the contract. Its guards began work at Illinois MetroLink locations last month and at all Missouri stations this past Monday. "The contract is being terminated with NO FAULT," states the March 25 letter that was written by Metro's vice president of procurement, Larry Jackson, and cosigned by Wackenhut's president of security services. The letter was meant to insure that neither side would sue the other. Whelan Security, based in St. Louis, handled Metro's security since the late 1990s, but when its contract expired at the end of 2007, "we wanted to upgrade the level of experience as well as the percentage of armed guards," says Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams. (Twenty percent of Whelan's guards were armed.) Although crime on the city's light rail system is low, Williams adds, "most folks have armed security guards when guarding people and property." Last August, five security companies bid on the contract, including Whelan and Securitas. Though Wackenhut was not the lowest bidder, Larry Salci, then Metro's CEO, chose the international company headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on the basis of technical merits. Under the terms of the agreement, Wackenhut promised to have 150 armed guards in place on MetroLink's 22 platforms by February 1. Winning the Metro contract was a piece of good luck for Wackenhut, which last year lost one of its largest clients, the Exelon Corporation, after several of its guards at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania were discovered sleeping on the job. In the wake of the embarrassment, Wackenhut's CEO resigned. But the company faced additional problems, including an August 2006 audit by Miami-Dade County, which revealed that Wackenhut over-billed the county's transit authority $1.6 million over a three-year period. The security firm is also bracing to hear the results of an audit in Milwaukee for not providing proper security on buses. Metro was aware of Wackenhut's problems when it entered into the contract, but representatives from the world's largest security firm allayed Metro's concerns about those issues, says Williams. Metro has weathered its share of adversity in recent months, culminating in the loss of a $26 million lawsuit against the original designers of the Shrewsbury MetroLink line. The public-relations nightmare caused Larry Salci to resign. He was replaced last December by retired United Van Lines chief Robert Baer. The Wackenhut contract began to leave the tracks when the company realized it would be unable to meet the February 1 deadline they agreed to during December negotiations. Clarence Harmon, director of Wackenhut's St. Louis office, wrote Metro executives in January, informing the transit agency that it was going to take longer than they'd expected to get its guards — many of whom had been imported from other locations — licensed to carry firearms in Illinois and Missouri. "It takes three weeks to get an arms license," explains Leo Fincher, operations manager of Florissant's Brinkmann Security, Wackenhut's local subcontractor. (Because Metro is funded by taxpayer money, Wackenhut was required, by law, to share 14 percent of its contract with a small or minority-run business.) The licensing process, Fincher says, requires classes and marksmanship tests. Wackenhut didn't receive the official go-ahead from Metro until January 16, which left only two weeks to get the guards in place. "That made it kind of impossible," argues Fincher. On January 21, Harmon, a former St. Louis mayor and police chief, wrote to Metro executives: "We have attempted to act in good faith by purchasing the necessary uniforms, firearms, ammunition, and beginning the pre-hire process. We have incurred thousands of dollars in expenses by doing this." Metro grudgingly granted Wackenhut a monthlong extension after learning the company had only 45 guards ready for duty on February 1. In all, Wackenhut spent $275,000 to get its guards outfitted and trained, and another $4,000 in advertising to recruit new employees, according to Fincher. Brinkmann, a much smaller company, spent between $500 and $700 to prepare each of its eighteen guards. Neither company, says Fincher, was reimbursed. "Why would they have been [reimbursed]?" asks Dianne Williams. "They were contractors and they were responsible for hiring their own employees." Throughout the month of February, tensions began to build between Metro and Wackenhut, via a series of increasingly testy letters and e-mails, obtained in a Sunshine Law request by Riverfront Times. Terry Lyles, Metro's director of procurement, became exasperated by what he considered Wackenhut's slowness in hiring sufficiently qualified guards. "Mr. Harmon," he wrote on February 15, "we have reached the point where we either move forward properly and in accordance with the contractual requirements, or we sever the relationship." To that end, Lyles demanded that Harmon submit to Metro, within a week, a list of guards and the necessary paperwork that proved they were qualified to carry weapons in Illinois and Missouri. Meanwhile, Metro officials grew dissatisfied with the guards already on duty. Willie McCuller, Metro's director of security and fare enforcement, wrote a stern letter to Harmon complaining about the performance of his guards. "During the past two weeks," McCuller wrote on February 20, "I have personally observed several Wackenhut officers at the Laclede's Landing and Grand MetroLink Stations who were not performing as expected. They were not checking tickets, nor were they engaging the traveling public in any fashion. I brought this to the attention of Wackenhut's management and was informed this would be addressed both in person and via the monthly newsletter. To date, I have seen little or no improvement." Harmon promised he'd supervise the guards more closely, while Wackenhut's regional vice president, Carl Page, said he would thoroughly examine the qualifications of his personnel. Metro still was not satisfied. On February 28, two days before it was to assume control of MetroLink security, Wackenhut still had not produced the list of guards and the paperwork to verify their qualification for the job. Terry Lyles informed Page by letter that Metro believed Wackenhut failed to live up to its end of the bargain and wished to cancel the contract. Brinkmann's Fincher says Wackenhut does not deserve complete blame for the contract's derailment. "MetroLink can be impossible to work with," says Fincher. "I don't know if they would have been happy with anyone. I'm not privy to upper management, but what filters down is ridiculous." Brinkmann guards were more than happy to provide examples. "There was no place for us to park," claims Jared Smith. "We had to pay for our own parking." "There was a lack of restrooms," says Michael Mendenhall, who sometimes worked at the Grand MetroLink station, one of the two McCuller complained was poorly staffed. Mendenhall claims only Metro employees had keys to the bathrooms on the platforms and that he and other Wackenhut and Brinkmann guards were forced to leave their stations to use public bathrooms outside, a clear violation of the Metro-Wackenhut contract. "When I worked at Grand," Mendenhall adds, "I had to ride to another station." Metro's Williams denies that Wackenhut and Brinkmann guards were not issued bathroom keys. "That's not true," she says. "Some of the keys got lost. As soon as we had them remade, we handed them out with the radios." Wackenhut spokesman Marc Shapiro declined to comment for this story, as did Clarence Harmon. Securitas spokesman Luke Hutsell says his company is willing to hire guards who previously worked for Wackenhut. "But that's dependent upon whether incumbent officers meet our qualifications." While Wackenhut considers a criminal justice degree sufficient, Securitas only accepts guards with five years of experience, a military background or police academy training. That means now many guards, including Mendenhall, will be out of a job. Hutsell estimates that Securitas will likely retain 20 of the 150 guards presently on Wackenhut's payroll. Brinkmann will find other positions for its guards, says Fincher, but few of them will be paid $11.30 per hour as Wackenhut did. "I could find work for $9 an hour," Mendenhall says, "but my wife and I are buying a house and we're having a baby. I don't want to step backwards."

April 26, 2008 St Louis Post-Dispatch
Leaders of the Metro public transportation agency said Friday that a Florida-based security firm was not able to deliver enough trained security guards to meet deadlines in a MetroLink security contract. So Metro and the Wackenhut Corp. agreed to part ways late last month, transit agency President Robert Baer told reporters after Friday's Board of Commissioners meeting. Metro had heretofore not shed much light on why the three-year, $13.1 million contract was terminated after only a few months. "It was around the availability of personnel," Baer said. "The training of personnel. The certification. Licensing of personnel. Nothing deliberate. It was just a matter of logistics and timing. We thought that we had laid out a very specific, step-by-step game plan. There was some dispute about that." Baer said there will be no financial penalty for ending the contract early. Wackenhut spokesman Marc Shapiro said he could provide no further details on what led to the mutual agreement in late March. Securitas Security Services will finish the three-year contract — and has already assumed responsibility in St. Clair County. Securitas, which unsuccessfully sought the contract that ultimately was awarded to Wackenhut, will honor its original bid price of $11.5 million. Baer said Wackenhut is cooperating in the transition. Clarence Harmon, the former St. Louis mayor and police chief, is the St. Louis general manager for Wackenhut. Meantime, Baer stressed that there have been no lapses in security. "That was not the issue," he said. "It was an issue of availability of people."

Tarkio Academy
Tarkio, Missouri
Correctional Services Corporation

August 3, 2004
Tarkio Academy, which provides residential treatment for juvenile offenders ages 13-19 who were court-ordered into the system, will be closing its doors on Sept. 19.  The decision was handed down by Maryland-based Youth Services International (YSI) last Friday. Facility administrator Victor Hogan announced the decision on Monday, July 19, to the 157 employees at the academy.  "We're all pretty disappointed and bent out of shape about it," Hogan said. "We basically had to start over again. We were making such great progress toward this becoming a better facility and meeting our requirements. We just don't understand why the decision was made to close the academy before we could accomplish all of our goals."  Hogan recalled that when he was introduced as the academy administrator, he knew there were a number of things that had to be accomplished to satisfy the corporate office's requirements: the population of students, number of staff members and improved programming were among the things that were on their list of items to work on.  (Maryville Daily Forum)

Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center
Vandalia, Missouri
Correctional Medical Services

November 26, 2004 AP
The family of a state prison inmate who complained of blinding headaches in the days before her death has filed a wrongful death suit against the state and the prison's health-care provider. Al'Deana Simmons, who was incarcerated for forgery, died in July 2003 at the women's prison in Vandalia of a ruptured brain aneurysm. She was 33. Her mother, Virginia Terry, and three minor children through their father are seeking actual and punitive damages, as well as compensation for attorney's fees. The defendants include Correctional Medical Services, the Missouri Department of Corrections and several of their employees. The suit alleges the defendants "were deliberately indifferent in failing to provide medical care to the decedent in that they were aware of the serious pain that decedent was experiencing and the blindness she was experiencing, from which an inference could be drawn that a substantial harm to decedent existed."

September 2, 2003
Virginia Terry was thankful when her daughter, a drug addict suffering from bipolar disorder, got locked up at the women's prison in Vandalia, Mo., for a forgery conviction.  "I thought, at least she'd be safe," Terry recalls. That changed when Terry's daughter, Al'Deana Simmons of Camdenton, began complaining, in letters and phone calls home, about the type of health care she was getting behind bars.  She said prison doctors changed her anti-depression medication. She cried about blinding headaches. And Terry will never forget what Simmons said in their phone conversation July 1, the day before she died of an apparent aneurysm.  "She said her head was sizzling and that she was going blind," Terry recalls. "The prison doctor saw her for 10 minutes and said nothing was wrong."  The case of Simmons, 33, is one of many being explored this summer by investigators with the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in Washington. Investigators have been to the prison three times and interviewed 127 inmates about the medical treatment provided by St. Louis-based Correctional Medical Services.  They also have met in St. Louis with inmates' relatives, including Terry. She provided them with her daughter's letters and medical records.  CMS won its first Missouri contract in 1992 under then Gov. John Ashcroft, who now as U.S. attorney general heads up the Justice Department.  Yet, in a move rarely seen by the Justice Department, Missouri's prison system has denied the investigators the access they want. The investigators have wanted to see the infirmary and talk to prisoners and staff at the prison, about 70 miles northwest of St. Louis. Prison officials wouldn't allow it, instead telling federal investigators they could talk to prisoners only in the visitation area during normal visiting hours.  That kind of restriction to a prison setting is rare, happening only a handful of times in the Justice Department's 23 years of work using the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.  The act was passed by Congress in 1980. It empowers the attorney general to investigate the conditions at these institutions and file lawsuits to remedy "a pattern or practice" of unlawful conditions.  A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment.  Tim Kniest, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections, said investigators weren't permitted to "walk around unescorted" because of safety concerns. Kniest said that, if the investigators make arrangements with the Missouri attorney general's office, they can have a tour.  The investigators work with the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division. That section's job is to protect constitutional rights of people confined to institutions such as state-run nursing homes and prisons.  $80 million a year Correctional Medical Services is the nation's largest prison health care provider. It has contracts to provide medical care for about 228,000 inmates and prisoners in 27 states.  In Missouri, CMS' current five-year contract, renewed in late 2001, covers medical and mental health care for the 29,500 prisoners in Missouri's 21 prisons. The cost to the state is about $80 million a year. It is based on a fixed per-day price (now at $7.50) for each housed inmate. That cost pays for everything from Band-Aids and aspirin to inmates' prescriptions and catastrophic health care.  There are about 1,700 female prisoners in the Vandalia prison. There are women prisoners in Chillicothe, but the federal investigators have not visited that prison.  CMS has been the subject of controversy in recent years. A five-month investigation by the Post-Dispatch in 1998 found more than 20 cases nationwide in which prison and jail inmates died as a result of alleged negligence, indifference, understaffing, inadequate training or cost cutting by private health care companies. Many of the cases involved CMS.  (STL Today)