Upnorthlive reported last week that a family member is suing Grand Traverse County Jail medical care provider WellPath. The issue is the alleged lack of medical care for an inmate in jail.
The local plaintiff is not the first person to take issue with WellPath. WellPath has been the recipient of significant scrutiny and many complaints, including:
- A man in El Paso claims that he was attacked in the jail and denied medical care because WellPath staff was out to lunch.
- A man in Memphis claims he had seizures because he didn’t get the correct dosages of his medicine.
- Two employees say they were sacked after trying to raise the alarm about inadequate medical care in the jail on the part of WellPath.
- This article says that an earlier business organization of the WellPath company has been the subject of more than 1,000 lawsuits including allegations that inmates are forced “cold turkey” off medications for anxiety, PTSD and depression.
In a previous inquiry, WellPath representatives told the Grand Traverse County Commission that they routinely ignore previous diagnoses and prescriptions written by an inmate’s primary doctors. They gave the example of refusing to provide a prescription for anxiety because “that may not be something they’re going to be needing in the jail.” (Because facing criminal charges and going to jail is a less stressful environment than daily life?)
For Sheriff Bensley’s part, he says that jail is no place for anyone who needs any type of medical care (I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly), so he doesn’t feel responsible when people suffer and die on his watch, even though it’s literally his job. Again I’m paraphrasing, but not by much. Bensley said, “That’s not my job,” even though he’s the top cop for all law enforcement in Grand Traverse County.
Bensley has previously implied that buying himself a fancy new jail is the answer to everything — that he can’t or won’t provide for inmate health or prevent suicide until the taxpayers fund his new jail. In other words, he should get the new toy he’s been wanting before he has to clean his room.
A society is judged by how they treat their most helpless – the elderly, the animals, the children, and yes, the criminals. Until those in power step up and takes responsibility, we are Dirty Traverse.