Justice System http://wvtf.org en Crisis in Correctional Care: The Series Begins http://wvtf.org/post/crisis-correctional-care-series-begins <p>There are about 30,000 Virginians in state prisons, and Virginia spends more than $25,000 a year to house each of them, making the Department of Corrections the most expensive agency in Richmond, with a billion dollar annual budget.</p><p>It spends $160 million on healthcare, but critics say that care is inadequate, and some inmates could be dying for lack of medical attention.&nbsp; Another 30,000 people are locked up in city or county jails, and as we'll hear throughout this series, their care is also questionable.</p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:27:00 +0000 Sandy Hausman 10553 at http://wvtf.org Crisis in Correctional Care: The Series Begins Crisis in Correctional Care: Inmates Allege Medical Neglect http://wvtf.org/post/crisis-correctional-care-inmates-allege-medical-neglect <p>The state of Virginia spends an average of $5,300 a year per inmate for medical care in prisons, and that cost has been rising 5-7 percent per year, but&nbsp; taxpayers may not be getting their money’s worth, and people locked up for minor crimes could be paying with their lives.</p><p></p><p></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:24:00 +0000 Sandy Hausman 10632 at http://wvtf.org Crisis in Correctional Care: Inmates Allege Medical Neglect Crisis in Correctional Care: Mental Illness http://wvtf.org/post/crisis-correctional-care-mental-illness <p>Fifty years ago, this country began closing mental hospitals where people with psychiatric disorders were often warehoused.&nbsp; The idea was to send patients back to their communities, where they would live better lives with help from local mental health programs. &nbsp;<br /><br />Unfortunately, those services were limited, and many people ended up on the streets or behind bars.&nbsp; Today, up to 18% of inmates in Virginia prisons are taking drugs for psychiatric conditions, and critics say some are being punished because they can’t comply with prison rules.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:23:00 +0000 Sandy Hausman 10675 at http://wvtf.org Crisis in Correctional Care: Mental Illness Crisis in Correctional Care: Elderly Inmates http://wvtf.org/post/crisis-correctional-care-elderly-inmates <p>The United States has more people in prisons and jails than any other country in the world -- 2.2 million inmates -- a 500% increase over the past thirty years.&nbsp;</p><p>We’re also a graying society, with millions of baby boomers claiming the title of senior citizen.&nbsp;</p><p>Those two trends spell trouble for Virginia’s prisons, as&nbsp; caring for a single senior behind bars can cost more than $65,000 a year.</p><p></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:01:00 +0000 Sandy Hausman 10695 at http://wvtf.org Crisis in Correctional Care: Elderly Inmates Crisis in Correctional Care: Pressing for Prison Reform http://wvtf.org/post/crisis-correctional-care-pressing-prison-reform <p>By the end of this year, California must release 9,600 prisoners from the nation’s largest correctional system, because the Supreme Court says overcrowding makes it impossible to provide adequate healthcare for inmates.</p><p>Failing to do so constitutes cruel and unusual punishment - a violation of the U.S. Constitution.&nbsp; Virginia’s prisons are also crowded and facing a lawsuit over medical care that will be heard this spring, but on other reasons for change in the Commonwealth’s correctional centers.<br />&nbsp;</p><p></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:00:00 +0000 Sandy Hausman 10746 at http://wvtf.org Crisis in Correctional Care: Pressing for Prison Reform