Prison Health Care in Michigan: A Case Study
Holly, Benjamin J.
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In this paper I will look at the current state of the Michigan prison health care system, in light of recent deaths that have taken place, as well as historically. I will examine the role the State of Michigan and Correctional Medical Services, the State's contracted for-profit prison health care provider, play in the administration of health care. In doing this, I use mainly twQ frameworks, with which to analyze the situation in Michigan. First, I use the pro-con arguments of the privatization debate, specifically as it applies to. private prisons, and then to private health care in prisons. Second, to better understand the role that political philosophy played, I look at the "reinvention" theory of government. Again, I seek to -link the past with the present, by providing a historical background of private involvement in corrections, correctional health care, and prison health care in Michigan. In examining Michigan's system I mainly use two larger reports, the 2000 BHCS Performance Audit and the 2002 report of Judge Enslen; although I include other supplemental state documents as well, to form the basis for my arguments. I find that both the state and CMS' s pattern of gross negligence has continued since the issuance of these reports. Particularly, I find that the state is severely lacking when it comes to its accountability and monitoring ofCMS. In light ofCMS's status as a private company, I find evidence that, despite what proponents claim, the profit-motive, in this situation, is not functioning the way it is theoretically supposed to, mainly due to a lack of real competition. At the end I offer recommendations as to how the situation could be improved.