“Medical bond” so that jails can get out of paying for sick inmates, who can’t afford treatment from hospitals, that write off those expenses, so that nobody’s responsible and nobody gets paid and only the inmates get punished:
Tidwell had been on the receiving end of a practice referred to by many in law enforcement as a “medical bond.” Sheriffs across Alabama are increasingly deploying the tactic to avoid having to pay when inmates face medical emergencies or require expensive procedures — even ones that are necessary only because an inmate received inadequate care while incarcerated.
What’s more, once they recover, some inmates are quickly rearrested and booked back into the jail from which they were released.
Local jails across the country have long been faulted for providing substandard medical care. In Alabama, for instance, a mentally ill man died from flesh-eating bacteria 15 days after being booked into the Mobile County Metro Jail in 2000. And in 2013, a 19-year-old man died of gangrene less than a month after he was booked into the Madison County Jail. In both cases, officials denied wrongdoing and surviving relatives settled lawsuits alleging that poor jail health care contributed to their loved ones’ deaths.
But the use of medical bonds isn’t about inferior care. It’s about who pays for care.
How anyone can look at this system and say what we need here is to tweak it around the edges and phase in improvements by 2035 and walk very, very softly so as not to upset the Very Fine People who think LETTING A DUDE OUT OF JAIL TEMPORARILY SO HE CAN BE IN A COMA SOMEWHERE ELSE don’t get upset.
And look, we tried that. We tried the absolute mildest reforms possible, and even that opened up a gigantic GOP hellmouth spewing “death panels” and “government takeover” and “mandated birth control,” so maybe it’s time to clue into the fact that howler monkeys howl because it’s right there in the name. Maybe it’s time to do what needs to be done despite the entirely predictable, utterly disingenuous flipout that will most certainly occur.
You can’t convince me THIS is sustainable, or good for anybody, or can be improved upon by degrees.