Salt lake city government

Advocates see ‘slow’ progress on drug and mosquito issues at Utah State Correctional Facility

Utah Department of Corrections responds after the families of the detainees spoke about the conditions in the new Salt Lake City State Correctional Facility. Advocates had seen an increase in a range of complaints ranging from access to medication to mosquito infestation.

Regarding the problems that prevented inmates from accessing prescribed medication, the UDC said it was due to “problems” in a new medical records system known as the Fusion.

Medication issues are starting to ease, says director and co-founder of the Utah Prisoner Advocate Network Molly Prince. However, questions remain about prisoners’ access to medical care outside the prison.

“It appears they are moving slowly, but we have heard concerns about coordination between U of U physicians and physicians from the Office of Clinical Services at the Utah State Correctional Facility,” she said.

A tan August 25 Briefingthe corrections department said it was working to get medication to inmates who needed it, which included the help of more than two dozen medical staff from the NIHA Department of Health and Human Services. Utah.

“We are days away from having more normal operations and knowing that we are providing the services that we know we are required to,” the executive director said. Brian Nielson.

Some families still say the care is lacking in the new facility.

“[Inmates] continue to submit medical requests, but the focus is on the issue of prescriptions, so medical appointments are taking a long time,” said Karen Thompson, whose son is at the facility. “Our goal is to keep this issue front and center and help by encouraging those affected to use the Inmate Care Request System to document the request and allow the medical clinic to prioritize care and resources.

Nielson said medical staff see “hundreds” of inmates a day and triage care is based on the inmates’ individual needs. Despite the issues with the new medical software, he said the plan was to keep moving forward with the system.

“It would be very, very difficult to go back to the system we left,” he said. “The path I see to success is moving forward with Fusion right now.”

In addition to technical issues, Nelson added that staffing shortages also continue to affect the prison system.

On the mosquito issue, Prince said there has been progress, but concerns have been raised about abatement measures negatively impacting wildlife in the area.

“Now there is a kind of balance between making sure that incarcerated people and staff members are protected from mosquitoes while making sure that wildlife has a right to live there as well,” he said. she stated. “It’s such a complicated question.”

Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion