Despite the ACLU’s request that an inmate representative or liaison take part in choosing the contractor for medical services at the county jail, the Board of Supervisors approved a $10 million contract with Prison Health Services (PHS), a private, for-profit company that has been providing healthcare for inmates and probationers since 1995. However, the board directed PHS to continue a dialogue with the Santa Barbara Chapter of the ACLU regarding what it claims have been unacceptable delays in access and levels of care. “The PHS model just isn’t functioning,” said former public defender Glen Mowrer, making the point that the for-profit company needs to pay attention to inmate feedback. “The things we tell them [about patient neglect] are shocking to them.”

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