Alabama corrections official refutes report by SPLC criticizing - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama corrections official refutes report by SPLC criticizing health car in state prisons

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Alabama Department of Corrections officials are refuting a report by a human rights organization that criticizes health care in state prisons. (abc3340.com) Alabama Department of Corrections officials are refuting a report by a human rights organization that criticizes health care in state prisons. (abc3340.com)
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Department of Corrections officials are refuting a report by a human rights organization that criticizes health care in state prisons.

Department Commissioner Kim Thomas said in a statement Wednesday the state is proud of the health care it offers inmates and that care provided in state institutions is better than what's available to most uninsured Alabamians.

A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center said the state fails to give inmates a humane level of medical care and disabled prisoners face discrimination.

[READ:  Gov. Bentley announces plans to overhaul overcrowded prison system]

Thomas says representatives from the company contracted to handle health care work in state prisons have told him the SPLC report is grossly inaccurate and appears to be based on incomplete information.

Full statement from Kim Thomas:

“The Alabama Department of Corrections is proud of the health care we provide to inmates, health care which costs Alabamians millions of dollars each year and is better than health care given to most uninsured Alabamians. We have allowed the Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program to come into our institutions, and permitted access to our facilities, records and offender interviews for more than two years in an effort to work with them on a variety of concerns related to the prison system. We met with the SPLC and ADAP recently regarding their concerns after receiving a letter containing much of the same information included in their report. With an interest in working to resolve their concerns, we asked for clarification and additional information so we could fully understand their concerns and investigate the information they claimed to have received. Our requests for clarification and more information were, however, emphatically denied.

"We are disappointed that we were not allowed more information so we could look into certain allegations raised in the report. We are still reviewing the report and have passed the information on to Corizon and MHM. MHM and Corizon have informed me that many of the allegations in the report are grossly inaccurate and appear to be based on incomplete information.

"As Governor Bentley stated yesterday, my door is open to the SPLC and ADAP if they wish to cooperate with our department in resolving the concerns raised in their report. Regardless of how they proceed, this department will remain committed to ensuring that every individual incarcerated in our system is confined in an environment that complies with the United States Constitution.”


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