came into my box on Friday. Given how I raked Mr Pratt over the coals on
the issue last week, I owe it to him to post this response he gave to
some questions Donna Hamm raised about my previous post on Corizon. Her
questions to him are in bold, his answers are in italics.
source still stands by her account of what has transpired at
ASPC-Tucson/Rincon, however, and will be sharing it with mainstream
media. They have the resources to do the fact-checking; I just amplify
the voices of those who are otherwise effectively silenced by the
system. If anyone out there has additional information about how
ASPC-Tucson/ Rincon has been run the past year, please let me know. My
contact info is at the top of the page.
|FOLLOWUP FROM Middle Ground: parasitic infestation of the elderly, sick and dying at Tucson/Rincon ICU...
From: PRATT, RICHARD <RPRATT@azcorrections.gov>
Date: Fri, May 2, 2014 at 6:54 PM
Subject: RE: CORIZON's deliberate indifference: parasitic infestation of the elderly, sick and dying at Tucson/Rincon ICU..
To: Middle Ground Prison Reform <email@example.com>
Cc: "firstname.lastname@example.org" "email@example.com", Governor Brewer <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Daniel Pochoda , Caroline Isaacs, Peri Jude Radecic "NICK, DOUG" , "RYAN, CHARLES" "NORTHUP, DAWN" ,
In response to your follow up:
What was done to stop the spread of scabies once it was initially
discovered? Did the seven alleged cases result from staff ignoring the
first case and letting it spread, or was it not discovered until several
people already had it at approximately the same time? If the first
case was ignored and then it spread from that case into several cases,
what is being done specifically to insure that serious attention will,
in the future, be given to even a single outbreak of such a serious
condition? What safeguards are in place to insure that it is readily
diagnosed and treated for an inmate who reports symptoms prior to
spreading it to others?
To be clear, let me reiterate, there has been no parasitic outbreak of scabies.
03/24/14 a CNA working night shift in the IPC reported that she had a
rash for approximately one week that was not resolving. She was
immediately sent to occupational health and treated for scabies. Her
diagnosis was made without confirmation by any skin scrapings. No
inmates or other staff were diagnosed with scabies at that time. The
employee subsequently quit her job without notice citing personal
On 04/23/14 seven IPC staff members reported a rash of varying
degrees, after they were comparing symptoms with each other. They were
sent to occupational health and five of them were given a cream to treat
scabies. Again, this diagnosis for those five employees was made
solely based on presentation and statements from staff regarding
scabies. The other two staff were diagnosed with contact dermatitis and
a napkin rash. All seven have been cleared and have returned to full
duty. One staff member also reported having a child with scabies
approximately one month prior.
2. Without violating their HIPPA privacy rights, are
there in fact seven Corizon employees who've contracted scabies but were
not permitted to take sick leave due to staff shortages, as is implied
in Plew's original email?
No. The information implied in Ms. Plew’s original
e-mail is not correct. One staff was restricted from coming back to work
for six days, four staff returned to work within 24 hours (full duty),
and the other two staff (not diagnosed with scabies) returned without
any restrictions. All of the Corizon staff were permitted to leave work
upon reporting, and the only restrictions were based upon doctor’s
orders. Paid time off was granted for anyone undergoing treatment or
with work restrictions. No one was denied sick leave for any reason. An
alternative staffing plan was put into place in the event all of the
employees would have been taken off work for an extended period of time.
3. Has someone investigated the physician assigned to that
unit (Rincon) who is accused of ignoring patients presenting with
symptoms of scabies? As Plews noted, some of the individual prisoners
may not have the ability (physical or mental) to file grievances or
complain in any effective manner, but that does not relieve the DOC
and/or Corizon of the responsibility to investigate.
The doctor overseeing the infirmary has advised that with regard
to the inmate population there were no confirmed cases of scabies within
the IPC at any time during this period. Please note that these inmates
are also seen daily by numerous nursing staff where any complaints can
4. With respect to the allegation that insufficient
amounts of food are given or that bedsheets are not being changed in a
timely manner, is there any procedure in place for you to make
unannounced inspections? If not, why not? What can or is being done to
insure that this issue, allegedly reported by a former Corizon
employee, is not actually happening?
I have received no reports with respect to these allegations. The
medical monitoring team has full access to the infirmary 24/7 (without
announcement) and inspects all aspects of patient care. Most of the
inspections are unannounced, and take place many times each and every
month, to include different shifts.
5. Plews didn't identify the prisoner who allegedly died
of "natural causes," but whom the Corizon ex-employee reports as having
died due to neglect, so I am not sure how you can check into this,
especially since no time frame was given to define "recently." Can you
somehow investigate this allegation to insure that no prisoner has died
due to neglect or indifference? Again, what active "hands on"
inspections by you or someone in your office takes place at each
health/medical unit -- in particular at the Tucson complex -- and how
many of those inspections are unannounced? How often do you visit the
units to see things with your own eyes?
There is a mortality review process for any deaths within the
department which involves the monitoring bureau. I attempt to get out to
the field personally whenever time permits. I also have administrators
who travel regularly in the field supervising the complex monitors.
6. The allegations regarding tampering/altering records at
Tucson/Rincon ICU are especially troubling, and they originate from an
ex-employee at Corizon. What does the DOC intend to do regarding these
extremely serious allegations regarding withdrawal/changing of
medications, at "other yards" (which Plews doesn't identify).
Even if the ex-Corizon employee chooses not to come forward to
contact you with her allegations or with more specific information, I
urge you to investigate these claims on your own. If all of her
allegations are false, it will simply confirm that Corizon is doing the
job they are contracted to perform and that your contract monitors are
doing their jobs, too. If any of the allegations are true, then
immediate remedial measures need to be taken. I hope I need not remind
you that the bulk of the tragedy at the Kingman Prison a few years ago
was a result of the DOC contract monitors not doing their job; I would
hope that the Department will not allow such tragedy to repeat itself
with the multi-million dollar inmate health care contract.
Record reviews are just one part of the monitoring taking
place in the field. It is not uncommon for a monitor to copy certain
records at one point in time, and go back to the record at a later date
to determine if any improper alterations have been made to the original
We do our best to ensure that the inmates are receiving the
constitutionally mandated care they deserve. Of course, specific
allegations are able to be investigated more appropriately than general
claims painted with a broad brush. As I have indicated in the past, I
appreciate issues that are brought to my attention relating to the
health care of the inmate population.
Interim Assistant Director
Arizona Department of Corrections
Health Services Contract Monitoring Bureau
Office: (602) 771-2100