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District of Columbia Receivership: Selected Issues Related to Medical Services at the D.C. Jail

NCJ Number
Laurie E. Ekstrand
Date Published
11 pages
The Director of the General Accounting Office's General Government Division, Administration of Justice Issues, presented testimony before the House Subcommittee on the District of Columbia (DC) on June 30, 2000, that concerned the medical receiver contract for medical and mental health services at the D.C. Jail.
The D.C. Jail's medical care facility was placed under court-ordered receivership in August 1995, after the city was held in contempt for repeatedly failing to implement court orders. These court orders emanated from long-standing litigation intended to ensure adequate medical services for jail inmates. In January 2000, the medical receiver awarded a 1-year contract, with a 4-year option, to a private firm to provide medical services to individuals housed at the D.C. Jail. The testimony on the medical receiver contract focuses on costs of providing medical services, what constitutes an acceptable level of medical service and staffing at the jail, the effect of the contracting process on medical service costs, and whether failure of medical receiver employees to resign from their positions prior to being awarded the contract violated city regulations. The comparison of contract budget data for medical services at the D.C. Jail and two comparable facilities in Maryland indicates the D.C. Jail's per capita costs are higher. The current contract at the D.C. Jail maintains a level of medical service and staffing that were already in place at the jail, but possibilities exist to reduce future contract costs. Medical receiver employees awarded the contract are not subject to D.C. regulations because they are not city employees.