Since 2004, Durham County has contracted with a Tennessee-based company called Correct Care Solutions to provide medical services at its jail. If an investigation faults CCS for the January 19 death of twenty-nine-year-old inmate Matthew McCain, whose family alleges that he received insufficient care for diabetes and epilepsy, the company may soon be headed to court—and it wouldn’t be the first time.
As the N&O reported last month, CCS has been sued by the family of jail inmate Dino Vann Nixon, a fifty-five-year-old who was awaiting trial for heroin trafficking when he died in August 2013. His family alleges that he was denied several prescription drugs, including Xanax, during that time.
That’s not all. Jennifer McCormack was thirty-one, pregnant, and dealing with opioid addiction in 2014, when she suffered a heart attack in her cell at the Forsyth jail, after several episodes of incontinence and loss of balance. She died five days later in a hospital from dehydration. Her family is also suing CCS. They accuse the company of denying McCormack the Xanax she was prescribed. According to Triad City Beat, experts advise against the abrupt discontinuation of opioids for pregnant women.
There are others. The family of fifty-six-year-old Donna Pillard in Lancaster County, Nebraska, settled with CCS in 2014 over her death three years earlier. Pillard, who had undergone triple-bypass surgery, had complained that she wasn’t receiving medication in jail.
Last year, two nurses employed by CCS were cited for “gross incompetence” in the 2013 death of inmate Rashod McNulty at the Westchester County jail in New York.
Perhaps the most disturbing story is that of David Stojcevski. The thirty-two-year-old Michigan man died in the Macomb County jail, under the care of CCS, from acute withdrawal from benzodiazepines in 2014. His agonizing deterioration over sixteen days was captured on twenty-four-hour jail video, which drew the attention of both the FBI and the ACLU.
Last June, the Durham County Board of Commissioners renewed CCS’s annual contract for $3.35 million. When contacted by the INDY last week, commissioner Ellen Reckhow, who was on the board when the original contract was awarded, said these lawsuits were news to her.
A CCS spokesperson could not be reached by press time.
UPDATE: Jim Cheney, a spokesperson for Correct Care Solutions, responds here.