BostonHerald.com – Local / Regional News: Prison critics rip medical care
The Department of Correction for months ignored the medical needs of a paraplegic inmate afflicted with a gaping, bacteria-ridden bedsore, forcing him to be hospitalized in an intensive care unit in Boston for a week, the inmateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lawyer said yesterday.
Prison reform advocates say the case of Anthony Garafolo, 45, of Springfield, who is awaiting trial, is emblematic of a disturbing lack of medical care among the 10,300 prisoners in DOC custody, many of whom leave the system with infectious diseases. The medical care gap also was raised Thursday by a member of a special panel appointed by Gov. Mitt Romney to help reform the DOC.
The Herald reported yesterday that inmates are regularly being released from state prisons suffering from infectious diseases such as hepatitis C, tuberculosis and MRSA, a Ã¢â‚¬Å“superbugÃ¢â‚¬Â skin bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotics.
Leslie Walker, executive director of Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services Inc., said lack of care is creating a health risk in the state because 97 percent of prisoners are eventually released.