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Sheriff’s Department makes changes to healthcare services, drug-treatment programs for inmates

In 2014, Daniel Sisson’s family was was awarded $ 3 million in an unjust death sentence after he died in Vista jail from an asthma attack triggered by symptoms of heroin deprivation.

Years later, in 2019, Elisa Serna, a daily heroin user, was retiring when she collapsed from a seizure and died in solitary confinement at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee. Her family has filed a lawsuit claiming that the department deliberately did not care about the medical needs of the 24-year-old.

Sisson and Serna are just two of hundreds of people who have died in county jails since 2006. This week, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office announced several new recruitment procedures designed to improve health care. for detainees – including treatment programs for drug addicts – who can prevent such deaths.

The changes were implemented in three county jails – Las Colinas, San Diego Central Jail in downtown San Diego and Vista Detention Facility – and come several months after state control found that the Sheriff’s Department had repeatedly failed to adequately prevent and respond adequately to the deaths of detainees.

From 2006 to 2021, more than 200 inmates died in San Diego County jails. The high mortality rate was first identified in The San Diego Union-Tribune’s 2019 survey, “Dying Behind Bars”.

Among its many criticisms, the audit said the department failed to ensure that it adequately identified the medical and mental health needs of detainees at the time of recruitment.

Although the department said it has implemented several recent policy changes to prevent the deaths of detainees, the situation does not appear to have improved. Last year was the deadliest since 1999 with at least 18 deaths. There were 10 deaths so far this year.

Prior to the change last week, people held in local jails had already been checked for drug history, county officials said. Now, some may be asked to do a urine test. Department officials said the change would allow them to better identify detainees who may be suffering from drug or alcohol deprivation while behind bars – a process that can have serious, even life-threatening, side effects – so that can be placed on the appropriate drugs.

The department also extended the treatment plan for some detainees to include buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid use disorder. In the past, the department provided such drugs to detainees only if they had been prescribed them prior to detention.

Department officials said deputies and officers would not need to change their formal procedures when taking people to jail. There will be toilets at the intake area where urine samples can be collected. Deputies and officers may also collect urine samples with laboratory sample bottles while treating individuals at a station or substation.

The medical staff at the three prisons are required to inform people that the urine test is for medical purposes only and that the test results can not be used as evidence or to accuse a person of a crime. People can refuse to provide samples and the refusals will be documented in their health records.

The department also created the medical discharge / clearance form for detention in an effort to improve the way hospitals communicate information about patients who later enter prison.

Before the form was available, hospital staff passed patient patient information to the prison medical staff through the deputy or officer they arrested. This information was often vague or incomplete and sometimes it was difficult to obtain additional information about a patient’s needs, department officials said.

Instead, new forms – which contain information about follow-up instructions, laboratory results and prescriptions – are required to be completed by hospital staff and then delivered through a prison officer or deputy medical staff.

The department changed the way prison staff document the anomalies observed when detainees move through body scanners. Body scanners are used to determine if smuggling, including weapons or drugs, is being smuggled into the prison.

If prison officials suspect that there are foreign objects in a person’s body, that person is sent to a hospital for further examination. The new protocol requires prison staff to send a form to the hospital detailing anything observed to help medical staff with treatment.

The San Diego County Association of Chiefs and Sheriffs informed law enforcement services across the county under the new protocols. One educational video It has also been reported to local police departments and will also appear to people held in prison reception areas, department officials said.

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Sheriff’s Department makes changes to healthcare services, drug-treatment programs for inmates Source link Sheriff’s Department makes changes to healthcare services, drug-treatment programs for inmates

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