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Rx for Integrating Medical Facilities Into a Detention Facility

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 71 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2009 Pages: 48-51
Tamara Clarke; Charles Johnson
Date Published
October 2009
4 pages
The Maricopa County Lower Buckeye Jail (LBJ) in Arizona is profiled as having integrated a medical facility into a detention facility.
The spacious 670,000-square-foot jail, one of the country's largest county jails, incorporates three separately operated facilities - health care, detention, and central services - into one megastructure. This allows these units to share common services. Adult men and remanded juvenile and psychiatric populations share services such as administrative support, education, inmate programs, video visitation, and facility intake. The facility's infirmary, pharmacy, and medical clinics serve 10,000 inmates. Combining the various services in one megastructure was judged by planners to be more cost-effective than building, staffing, and operating three or four separate facilities. Unique to LBJ is the facility's psychiatric housing wing and infirmary clinics. LBJ is the largest licensed county psychiatric facility in Arizona. Every room and cell was designed to address specific psychological behaviors Psychiatric units are supported by centralized services located along the access corridor. Each psychiatric unit has its own outdoor exercise area designed for the needs of its population. Currently, LBJ's 60-bed infirmary is able to handle a jail population of 10,000 inmates. It can house inmates in a variety of cell types. Adjacent to the infirmary are the central pharmacy and medical clinics. The infirmary has 2 rooms designed for suicide prevention; 19 negative air pressure rooms to contain communicable diseases or emerging pathogens; and four positive pressure rooms. The cost of admitting an inmate to the county hospital is 5 times greater than sending the inmate to the infirmary, which provides medical care at an elevated level and offers a range of medical services that include cancer treatment. 2 photographs of the facility's exterior and interior