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Prisoner patient transfer to new hospital on hold

Posted November 21, 2011

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— The state is delaying the move of more than 200 Central Prison inmate patients to a new medical complex because fundamental issues regarding the new facility still need to be addressed.

Officials with the North Carolina Division of Prisons said Monday that those items include a central system for oxygen to reach patient cells and the operating room, water filtration equipment and electrical outlets for radiology equipment.

Prisoners were supposed to be transferred earlier this month to the new $155 million, 315,000-square-foot facility, and demolition on the old one was set to begin by the end of the month. Officials don't have a new date for the move but hope it will happen in mid-December.

According to a recently released 46-page internal audit, the transition is critical because the growing inmate population with its infrastructure limitations has proven extremely difficult.

The facility, which was built in the 1960s and 1970s, is also affecting the state's ability to recruit and retain critical staff, the audit also says.

The Division of Prisons requested the review of the inpatient mental health program to make sure any concerns and problems were addressed before the move.

Prison Prisoner patient transfer to new health facility on hold

It also found that staff neglected inmates with serious mental illnesses. Inspectors discovered inmates were locked up in isolation for weeks on end, there were pools of human waste in cells, reported pest problems, incorrect dosing of inmates, faulty record-keeping and chronic understaffing.

A day after the report came out last spring, Warden Gerald Branker announced his planned retirement, effective Nov. 1.

His replacement, Kenneth Lassiter, started Monday. Lassiter was previously the superintendent at the Charlotte Correctional Center.

Department of Correction officials hope that new leadership and a modern facility will help ensure inmate patients are receiving the best treatment possible.

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  • fayncmike Nov 22, 2011

    "They talk like these are senior citizens or disabled veterans. They are criminals and get what they get. If it's not the best to bad. Most of America isn't getting the best. Why should criminals get the newest and best facilities? Especially when most of us are paying for our own healthcare and theirs.
    kermit60"

    What a kind and wonderful Christian attitude. I'm surprised you don't want to execute them all.

  • fayncmike Nov 22, 2011

    "The architect designed a PRISON hospital, not a PUBLIC hospital. I'm quite certain that they did not consider oxygen and power outlets to PRISON CELLS."

    Did you even bother reading the story? Oxygen, that's the stuff we need to breathe. Sometimes sick people need extra! Especially people being operated on. Water filtration equipment, Sometimes sick people need pure water. equipment like dialysis machines need filtered water. Electrical outlets for radiology equipment. A lot of that stuff runs on 220, HELLO??! They weren't talking about cable TV outlets, Sheesh, sometimes I wonder.

    "Officials with the North Carolina Division of Prisons said Monday that those items include a central system for oxygen to reach patient cells and the operating room, water filtration equipment and electrical outlets for radiology equipment

  • kermit60 Nov 22, 2011

    They talk like these are senior citizens or disabled veterans. They are criminals and get what they get. If it's not the best to bad. Most of America isn't getting the best. Why should criminals get the newest and best facilities? Especially when most of us are paying for our own healthcare and theirs.

  • smalldogsrule Nov 22, 2011

    The architect designed a PRISON hospital, not a PUBLIC hospital. I'm quite certain that they did not consider oxygen and power outlets to PRISON CELLS. If they need oxygen or equipment requiring power outlets, then they should be sent to a lower custody grade facility like McCain. Maximum Security Inmates should not have power outlet or any other type of outlet in a cell where they can access it.

  • dwarner3 Nov 22, 2011

    The type of architect hired is one who is beholding to the NC political powers, with no regard for what is required

  • fayncmike Nov 22, 2011

    "Officials with the North Carolina Division of Prisons said Monday that those items include a central system for oxygen to reach patient cells and the operating room, water filtration equipment and electrical outlets for radiology equipment."

    These are design issues. What type of architect did NC hire that would omit such basic features that, of course would be a lot cheaper to install during construction.? Now it's going to cost a lot more and waste time to do the work.