Centurion, which is part of the Centene Company, said in a July 7 letter to MDOC obtained by CBS News affiliate WJTV that it was ending their relationship, effective October 5, 2020.“As we have said before, we do not believe that we can further improve the efficiency of our level of care without additional investment by the Ministry in correctional staffing and infrastructure, in accordance with what we have already recommended,” he said. writes Steven H. Wheeler, CEO. by Centurion.
Marcy Croft, senior counsel for the ROC team, said in a statement that she hopes Centurion’s decision to end the relationship “sends a clear message to Governor Tate Reeves – it’s time to invest in the health and well-being of the people in your prisons. . ”
“There is no excuse for the 53 deaths in the Mississippi prison system over the past few months, many of which were preventable,” Croft said. “We will not stop until incarcerated people receive consistent and competent medical care, especially now with the COVID-19 crisis. It must be a priority. “
Violence, understaffing, and deteriorating infrastructure have affected the Mississippi prison system.
More than 50 people have died in public facilities since December 29, a figure that includes suicides, homicides and cases classified as “natural deaths.” The lawsuit claims that the lives of the plaintiffs are at risk inside.
A doctor hired by lawyers suing Mississippi said conditions at the state penitentiary were the worst he had seen in a prison. Dr Marc Stern, who specializes in correctional health care and has assessed dozens of similar facilities across the country, said he witnessed electrical wires exposed inside.– one of the state prisons – some of which are near standing water.
“The conditions in which the people of Parchman exist are sub-human and deplorable in a civilized society,” Stern said.
Lawyers also say there was a lack of a COVID-19 testing protocol or medical care for inmates, as well as a lack of social distancing and PPE protocols.
According to the Centene website, Centurion “provides correctional health and staffing services to government agencies” in 17 states.
“By combining strong financial discipline with the delivery of the right care, Centurion is increasingly recognized among states as one of the top providers of correctional health care,” the website states.