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Virginia moves to immediately sever ties with prison health care contractor. ‘The relationship has degraded significantly.’

A picture of the assisted living ward at Deerfield Correctional Center that the Virginia...
A picture of the assisted living ward at Deerfield Correctional Center that the Virginia Department of Corrections shared with lawmakers in 2019. The prison, which houses some of the state’s most medically fragile inmates, has seen a major COVID-19 outbreak.(Virginia Department of Corrections)
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 4:08 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 9:23 AM EDT
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The Virginia Department of Corrections appears headed toward a messy breakup with the company that provides medical care in about half of the state’s prisons.

DOC director Harold Clarke announced in July he intended to bring all health care services in-house, ending its $90-million annual contract with Miami-based Armor Correctional Health.

But rather than let the current contract run its course for the next year as initially planned, prison officials now say they’re taking immediate steps to end the state’s relationship with Armor, accusing the company of stonewalling corrections officials since the announcement.

“The relationship and correspondence with the vendor has degraded significantly,” Clarke wrote in a letter to House and Senate budget leaders. “The lack of communication and the activities of the vendor significantly jeopardize the ability of the department to ensure constitutionally adequate medical care is being provided as contractually required by the vendor and is unsustainable for any amount of time.”

Armor’s CEO, Otto Campo, fired back in a statement, calling DOC’s decision reckless.

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.(Virginia Mercury)

The Virginia Mercury is a new, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.

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