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


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