The FDA’s Recent Actions Against Opioid Manufacturers

What actions has the FDA taken to stop opioid addiction where if often starts: with prescription pain medicine? In June 2017, the FDA requested for the first time that a prescription opioid be taken off the market. They said they were concerned with its benefits compared to its potential risks. Said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product’s risks outweigh its benefits, not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse.” The drug, Opana ER, was being abused by addicts in forms it was never intended to be used in. Also, injecting it was causing other connected health problems, such as HIV transmission and blood diseases. In the realm of correctional medical care, the signal that the FDA is taking the opioid crisis more seriously means a lot. So many inmates today are addicted to opiates or opioids. They are difficult to care for, and while our staff always do their best, they can be hamstrung often by those who see addiction as a criminal rather than medical...

A History of Prison Ships

For a period of time in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was common for old, decommissioned sea vessels to serve as floating prisons. Known as prison ships or prison hulks (a hulk being a term for a ship which is no longer seagoing), these were considered a good use for vessels whose days as working boats were over. The British and their colonies and possessions were the primary user of the prison ship concept. They were most famously used in America during the Revolutionary War. More than 11,000 Colonial POWs died in British prison ships during the Revolutionary War. Conditions were notoriously awful on these ships. Overcrowding and disease were rampant. In Australia, a huge influx of a criminal element in the 1850s resulted in overcrowding in terrestrial prisons, thus leading to the use of prison hulks. Today, while far fewer in number, the floating prison is still in use. In fact, the largest floating prison left in the world is located in New York, the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center. Although it was never a seagoing vessel, until 2002 the US Coast Guard did require the Center to have maritime-trained personnel on board, including a...

A Statement From CMC and CBH Medical Regarding Recent Events in Schenectady County, New York

To our clients, employees, and other interested parties: As has been reported in the media, Correctional Medical Care has been named in a complaint filed by attorney E. Robert Keach on behalf of his client Michael Revels. CMC has received  a copy of this complaint, which makes numerous allegations that are knowingly false. Unfortunately, CMC is precluded by law from publicly responding to Mr. Keach’s false statements concerning the care of Mr. Revels or any other patient. Mr. Keach’s complaint simply has no basis, as will be proven in Court.  For example, CMC does not and never has owned CBH Medical, as Mr. Keach alleges, and CMC does not provide medical care in the state of New York. Rather, CMC is an administrator of a contract between Schenectady County and the independent medical provider, CBH Medical, a fact of which Mr. Keach has regularly been informed. Moreover, CBH Medical and its staff do not and never have based any medical decision on profit margin and do not withhold medical care to enhance profit. There is absolutely no motive for CBH Medical to withhold hospital care for incarcerated patients as Mr. Keach falsely claims. Also CBH Medical does not bear the cost of any such hospitalization, which generally is paid by Medicaid. CBH Medical provides high-quality medical care to the jail population of Schenectady County and other counties including Albany County and Rensselaer County. On a daily basis it provides needed medical care and treatment to thousands of incarcerated individuals. This population includes many individuals with a long history of diverse and often serious medical issues, many of whom have had...

Pennsylvania Closing Two State Prisons

Governor Tom Wolf says the state will close two prisons to save money. The state prison inmate population had dropped considerably in recent years, which is prompting the cost-cutting move. Five state prisons are on the list of possible cuts. But this is not sitting well in communities that are dependent on correctional facilities for jobs. In Pennsylvania, as in many states, many rural communities depend on these types of prisons as crucial employers. In some counties, the correctional facilities employ so many locals that other businesses, such as local retail, dining, and other business, will suffer second-hand effects from closings. In order to make up for the lost beds, prisons will be running over capacity, which could make correction officers and medical personnel’s already difficult jobs more stressful.  The job of rehabilitating prisoners, already so difficult, will get even tougher. There is also the chance that due to these overcrowded conditions, overtime will go up, partially negating any cost savings the commonwealth was hoping for. Members of both political parties from all five counties are already making the case to the governor that their county should not be the one to lose out in the...