The Jail Health-Care Crisis
March 1, 2019
(The New Yorker) – Jails have a much higher turnover rate than prisons, where inmates generally serve long sentences. Prison wardens face their own problems, serving populations that suffer from chronic diseases and conditions related to aging, in addition to high rates of addiction and mental illness. Yet the crisis is particularly acute in jails, because large numbers of people booked into custody are in a state of distress or, like Laintz, will suffer withdrawal, which can require close monitoring and specialized treatment that jail wardens are not equipped to provide. Many jails are in rural or poor counties, where administrators complain that they have neither the resources nor the expertise to hire, train, and supervise doctors and nurses in the particular demands that their facilities require.