The Correctional Health Care blog provides updates and analyses on issues associated with the industry, including recent legal proceedings involving providers issues related to professional malpractice, regulatory compliance, contractual negotiations, and risk management.

Recent Posts

Proper Protocols in Correctional Health Care Help Reduce Liability Risk

Written by: Beth Boone, Esq. Administrators, officers and health care providers who work in correctional facility settings should make sure they aren’t giving plaintiffs’ attorneys a commonly exploited opening for litigation: protocol lapses. Whether it’s not following existing protocols or failing to update them regularly, a lax approach to protocols in a correctional health care

Navigating Outside Provider Appointments in Correctional Health Care

Written by: Beth Boone, Esq. Getting appointments with a health care provider can be challenging for anyone, and it can be much more complicated for individuals who are in custody — especially when the matter requires a specialist or diagnostic procedure performed with specialized equipment. The National Commission on Correctional Health Care, the National Institute of Corrections,

Suicide Underscores Need for Mental Health Care in Correctional Facilities

Written by: Beth Boone, Esq. Death by suicide behind bars is a serious challenge in correctional health care, and there is a greater focus on expanding mental health services and prevention programs to reduce fatalities. Corrections officers, facility administrators, community health care agencies and other stakeholders also play important roles in watching for suicide risk,

COVID Vaccine Implications For Inmates & Corrections Officers

Written by: Beth Boone, Esq. As COVID vaccines become more widely available and distributed across the United States, state and local corrections facilities are receiving vaccines according to their jurisdiction’s vaccine plan. Sometimes that means varying prioritization based on facility size, geography, local logistics and the number of available medical staff. The U.S. Centers for

Defending Deliberate Indifference Claims

Brunswick Partner Beth Boone has been published in the Winter 2020 edition of CorrDocs, the newsletter of the American College of Correctional Physicians. Her article is titled “Defending Deliberate Indifference Claims” and can be read here.

Nurse Charting in the Correctional Health Care Setting- Part 1

Written by: Beth Boone, Esq. There are differences in how a patient’s care and treatment is documented in the wide variety of settings in which health care providers practice. For example, a private practice neurology office may document with references to applicable insurance and billing codes, and use language that will allow an insurance carrier

Supreme Court Refuses to Stop Order to Move Inmates From Virus-Ravaged Prison

Written by: Phillip E. Friduss, Esq. Thus is the title of Adam Liptak’s New York Times coverage of the Ohio inmate transfer case, Williams v Wilson case we reported on last week. The piece begins: “The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a request from the Trump administration to block a trial judge’s ruling that had ordered

COVID-19 in Jails and Prisons – US Supreme Court Asked to Stay Ohio Injunction Requiring Transfer of Inmates

Written by: Phillip E. Friduss, Esq. There have now been any number of COVID-related challenges to the conditions of confinement in jails/prisons nationwide, especially with respect to the elderly inmate population.  Two weeks ago we reported on the Texas case that had made its way to the US Supreme Court.  That case, Valentine v Collier,

Georgia Applicable State Immunity For COVID-19 Cases

Written by: Stephanie R. Amiotte, Esq. COVID-19 is a pandemic nobody was prepared for and nobody wanted to happen. Its effects on the incarcerated population, particularly those with fragile health or advanced age will likely result in increased litigation against correctional healthcare providers.  Hall Booth Smith, P.C. is dedicated to meeting the pandemic head-on in

An Unprecedented Time: De-Carcerating & Other Steps Being Taken in Georgia’s Jails and Prisons as the Result of COVID-19

Written by: Jennifer Dorminey Herzog, Esq. Because of policies of mass incarceration over the past four decades, the United States has incarcerated more people than any other country on Earth.[1]  Highly transmissible novel respiratory pathogens pose a challenge for incarcerated populations because of the ease with which they spread in congregate settings.[2]  The stage is

Useful Guide For The New Leave Entitlements Under FFCRA

Written by: Phillip E. Friduss, Esq. Below is the most useful guide we have located on The New Leave Entitlements Under FFCRA – Issues Unique to the Public Sector: COVID-19 Resource.  There is an outstanding and helpful Question and Answer section.  If you have any questions please reach out to Phil Friduss or any other

Forced Labor in Privatized Prisons? Eleventh Circuit Cries Foul!

Written by: Phillip E. Friduss, Esq. On February 28, 2020, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appellate court for Alabama, Florida, and Georgia) ruled that a federal statute designed to combat human trafficking applies to a privatized federal corrections facility’s alleged practice of punishing and withholding basic human necessities from inmates who refuse

The Modern Suicide Case in The Correctional Healthcare Setting

Written by: Phillip E. Friduss, Esq. I.  INTRODUCTION Today’s correctional healthcare world is the product of a half-century mix of social, legal, and moral paradigm shifts. Ever since the 1976 Supreme Court’s world-spotlight decision in Estelle, the obligation to provide meaningful healthcare to the incarcerated has skyrocketed – as has the quality of attorneys bringing

Hall Booth Smith’s Correctional Healthcare Team to Attend the American Jail Association’s 38th Annual Conference and Jail Expo 2019

Hall Booth Smith, P.C. is looking forward to participating at the American Jail Association’s 38th Annual Conference and Jail Expo 2019 on May 18-22, 2019. As a first-time exhibitor at this conference, Hall Booth Smith is thrilled to join and meet attendees in Louisville, Kentucky. Hall Booth Smith defends correctional healthcare providers, correctional officers and

National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) Mental Healthcare Conference

Hall Booth Smith, P.C., was a participant at the recent National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) Mental Healthcare Conference in Hollywood, California, on July 15-16, 2018. Partner and Correctional Healthcare Practice Group team member Stephanie Amiotte, led a round-table breakfast discussion on legal issues, and presented on the Perils and Pitfalls of Medical Documentation.

American College of Correctional Physicians Spring Educational Conference

On March 24, 2018, Hall Booth Smith, PC, Partner Beth Boone presented at the 2018 American College of Correctional Physicians Spring Educational Conference in Houston, Texas. The AACP is the only membership organization committed solely to the professional development and fellowship for correctional physicians, providing a venue of advocacy for the correctional physicians and their patients. AACP

Defending Correctional Healthcare Providers: The Intersection of Malpractice and Civil Rights

Written by: Beth Boone, Esq.  and Steven P. Bristol, Esq. Incarceration is big business in the United States, with costs to taxpayers estimated at over $80 billion dollars per year for the estimated 2.2 million individuals in custody. From county jails to state prisons, correctional healthcare providers are in the news daily, from questions and concerns regarding the

To Document… or Not to Document: Charting in the Correctional Healthcare Setting

Written by: Beth Boone, Esq. Healthcare providers in the correctional setting face many unique challenges while providing care to individuals being detained or in the custody of the government. Chronically ill patients, historically non-compliant populations, mental health problems, drug and alcohol issues and communicable diseases all interplay with treatment. When interacting with nurses, physicians, dentists and

Rethinking our Medical Restraint Chair Policies

Written by: Phillip E. Friduss, Esq. So, you have a restraint chair policy. Quite often, our healthcare policies are two-fold, one part governing law enforcement initiated restraints, the other dictating a different set of rules for the medically initiated restraint situations. This quick blog raises the question of why ever it is that today there would

Recent 7th Circuit Case Illustrates the Two Different Approaches to Deliberate Indifference

Written by: Jennifer Herzog, Esq. & Nick Kinsley The 7th Circuit, sitting en banc, recently decided a case involving the issue of deliberate indifference and the Eighth Amendment in regard to correctional healthcare in which the majority and dissent articulate two very different approaches.  In Petties v. Carter,[1] the plaintiff, Tyrone Petties, ruptured his Achilles tendon while at the

2016 Correctional Health Care Industry Attendance

Written by: Beth Boone, Esq. Hall Booth Smith, PC (HBS) proudly participated in several national correctional and correctional health care conferences in 2016, including exhibiting at the American Correctional Association’s Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, in January 2016, and the ACA’s Congress of Correction in Boston, Massachusetts, in August 2016. Additionally, HBS attended and exhibited at

The Continuing Fall of the Prison Population in Georgia – A Brief Look at One Charter School’s Effort to Keep the Trend Going

Written by: Jennifer Dorminey Herzog, Esq. Between 1990 and 2011, the Georgia adult prison population more than doubled to nearly 56,000 inmates.[i]   Georgia’s incarceration rate in 2011 – 1 in 70 adults behind bars – was the fourth highest in the nation.  Meanwhile, the state’s recidivism rate hovered at roughly 30% for a decade.[ii]   To attempt to address

The Changing Role of Correctional Health Care Professionals

Written By: Beth Boone It seems that there are almost daily reports of encounters between law enforcement and mentally ill individuals, some with devastatingly fatal consequences for the families who initiate the contact by calling for assistance with their loved one, and conversely, often dangerous situations for the police in responding to the same. But

Beth Boone Presenting at the Annual American Correctional Health Services Association South East Conference

Beth Boone, Partner at HBS will be presenting Recent Trends in Correctional Health Care Litigation at the annual American Correctional Health Services Association 2015 South East Region Fall Conference At the Savannah Marriot on Saturday, September 19. Attendees will include Physicians, Pharmacist, Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, MH Professionals, Pharmaceutical Reps, and Nurses from around the South East Region. 

Mike Frick Presented at the American Correctional Health Services Association National Conference

Mike Frick, Partner at HBS presented Anatomy of a Lawsuit in a Correctional Healthcare Setting at the American Correctional Health Services Association National Conference on March 20th, 2015 in Orlando, FL.  Mr. Frick presented an informative and entertaining anatomy of how a lawsuit can occur in a correctional healthcare setting. From an initial fact pattern, the audience will be

Defending Medical Malpractice Claims in the Correctional Healthcare Setting

Any health care practitioner in the correctional healthcare setting can see what appears to be either a more recent upswing in actual claims and lawsuits, or at least what appears to be more frequent news media accounts of the same. http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/28/us/alabama-gangrene-madison-county-jail-lawsuits/index.html?hpt=hp_t2  While medical malpractice or professional negligence claims that occur in private practice settings are generally

Indemnity Provisions: Be Careful How you Contract

An indemnity contract obligates one party (the indemnitor) to reimburse another party (the indemnitee) for a loss suffered and to save him harmless from liability. Indemnity provisions are frequently found in everything from business contracts to contracts between counties and third-party healthcare providers. An important aspect of a business’s or municipality’s risk management is thoroughly

Recent Case Highlights Risk Management Tips for Correctional Healthcare Providers

A complaint was  recently filed against law enforcement officials and a correctional healthcare company in the Northern District of Texas, Wichita Falls Division, alleging that local law enforcement officials and the correctional healthcare company failed to timely respond to the medical needs of a pregnant inmate.  While  the facts of the case may  obviously be

Welcome to the HBS Correctional Healthcare Blog

Welcome to the HBS Correctional Health care Practice Group BLOG.  In this, our first entry, we offer an overview of the law that governs lawsuits brought by inmates against health care practitioners in correctional settings. In 1976, the United States Supreme Court issued the landmark decision in Estelle v. Gamble regarding the rights of incarcerated persons related