- Report Published -
|Review of Inmate Medical Care and DOC Management of Health Services|
|Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission|
|Appropriation Act - Item 15. (Regular Session, 1992)|
|Nationally, inmate health care has been the subject of much debate and a significant amount of court activity. The United States Supreme Court ruled in the late 1970s that inmates have a constitutional right to health care. However, questions remain concerning the appropriate level and quality of inmate health care. Consequently, correctional administrators and health care staff must make these determinations within certain legal parameters.|
In fiscal year (FY) 1993, the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) spent approximately $36.9 million to provide health care to an average daily population of 17,011 inmates. Expenditures for inmate medical care made up the majority of expenditures for inmate health care services. The remaining expenditures were for inmate dental and mental health services.
Approximately 200 full-time State employees and additional contract personnel provide medical care services at 17 major institutions and 20 field units. In addition, the department employs four professional staff, who are assigned to the Office of Health Services (OHS) in the central office. The department has a decentralized approach to inmate health care that results in budgetary and programmatic decisions being made at the institutional and regional levels. Staff within OHS act primarily as advisors to correctional health care staff working in the facilities.
The 1992 Appropriation Act directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to examine the increasing costs of health care in corrections and to determine the appropriate level for that care. This report, the third in a series of reports on inmate medical care and the Department of Corrections' management of inmate health care. Previous reports addressed inmate dental care and inmate mental health care.