Skip navigation

Articles by Greg Dober

Influenza Season Hits Nation’s Prisons and Jails

by Gregory Dober

In 1918, countries worldwide were hit with one of the worst influenza outbreaks in modern time. Experts believe that the pandemic of the Spanish flu originated and spread through overcrowded WWI army camps, then was transported into surrounding civilian communities. That allowed the disease to rapidly spread ...

California Prisoners File Class-action Suit Seeking Hepatitis C Treatment

by Gregory Dober

In 2013, the FDA approved two new life-saving hepatitis C (HCV) drugs known as simeprevir (brand named Olysio) and sofosbuvir (brand named Sovaldi). The drugs, a new class of medication called direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), were proven to be over 90% effective in clinical trials. Additionally, they reduced ...

Attica Medical Experiments Exposed

by Greg Dober

On November 19, 2017, Heather AnnThompson, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which she described medical experiments that took place at the Attica Correctional Facility in the early 1970s.

Thompson, author of the recently-released book ...

California Sheriff’s Largest Campaign Donors include Corizon and Aramark

by Greg Dober 

In Alameda County, California, Corizon Correctional Healthcare is facing questions regarding campaign contributions to County Sheriff Greg Ahern.  While investigating two inmate deaths at Santa Rita jail, in Alameda County, television station, KTVU-2 uncovered public documents, which shows Ahern accepting $110,000 in campaign contributions during 2006-2013 from Corizon.   The Corizon contract with Alameda County, worth $237 million, is the counties largest contract and Corizon was Ahern’s largest campaign donor.

Corizon contributed to Ahern’s campaign fund despite the sheriff running unopposed in his reelection bids. Ahern defended the contribution by indicating that he used the money to fund a golf tournament to raise money for the sheriff’s deputy’s health and welfare fund.   Corizon wasn’t alone in funding the sheriff’s unopposed campaign bids.  Aramark, the food service provider at the jail, donated in excess of $11,500 from 2008-2009. In addition, two companies bidding for video services at the jail also donated a total of $20,000 to Ahern’s campaigns.

After the three-year contract expiration in 2011, the company was awarded consecutive one-year no- bid renewals at the recommendation of Ahern.  In a no-bid contract renewal, Ahern has continually recommended Corizon since ...

Human Rights Watch Questioned Over Appointees and Views

A letter signed by two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, a former UN Assistant Secretary and over 100 other rights advocates and scholars request that the organization “institute immediate, concrete measures to strongly assert HRW’s [Human Rights Watch] independence.”   In the strongly worded letter of May 14, 2014 to HRW Director Kenneth Roth, the authors listed multiple examples of former U.S. government officials being appointed to high-level HRW positions.

The letter cited numerous examples of potential conflicts of interest with HRW appointees.  The letter was critical of the hiring of HRW’s Washington’s advocate director, Tom Malinowski.  Malinowski had served under President Clinton as a special assistant as well as a speechwriter to Secretary of State Madelyn Albright.  Also, in 2013, Malinowski left HRW after he was nominated to a post under U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.  The letter was critical of Malinowski’s past political position as well.  In 2009, as the organization's advocacy director, Malinowski contended that there was “a legitimate place” for CIA kidnappings and the use of foreign countries to house CIA kidnapped prisoners.

In addition to Malinowski, the letter criticized the appointment of several other high-level HRW staff ...

More Jurisdictions Don’t Renew Corizon Contracts – Including Big Loss in New York City

More Jurisdictions Don’t Renew Corizon Contracts – Including Big Loss in New York City

by Greg Dober

Recent news for for-profit prison and jail healthcare provider Corizon with respect to contract renewals has not been good. In June 2015, it was announced that two of the company’s clients, the New ...

Minnesota DOC Sued Over Failure to Provide New Hepatitis C Treatment Protocol

Minnesota DOC Sued Over Failure to Provide New Hepatitis C Treatment Protocol

by Greg Dober

On May 1, 2015, two prisoners at MCF-Stillwater filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Centurion Managed Care (a division of Centene Corporation), DOC Commissioner Tom Roy and several physicians. The ...

Pharmacist Associations Take Stand Against Death Penalty

Pharmacist Associations Take Stand Against Death Penalty

by Greg Dober

On March 2015, two professional associations that represent pharmacists urged their members to stop providing drugs used in executions.

The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists issued a statement to its membership that the organization’s Board of Directors had adopted a ...

“Damning” Audit Sharply Criticizes Corizon in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

“Damning” Audit Sharply Criticizes Corizon in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

by Gregory Dober

In December 2014, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Controller Chelsa Wagner released an audit report on Corizon Health’s compliance with its contract to provide medical care at the county jail in Pittsburgh.

The audit cited 14 areas in which the ...

Prisoners Unlikely to Benefit from New, Highly Effective Hepatitis C Treatment

Prisoners Unlikely to Benefit from New, Highly Effective Hepatitis C Treatment

by Greg Dober

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a blood-borne virus that is typically spread through intravenous drug use (i.e., sharing needles), tattooing with non-sterile needles, and sharing razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers or other hygiene items that may be ...