Del. bill aims to make inmate healthcare more transparent
DOVER, Del. – House Bill 173 is all about transparency and keeping prisoners safe in Delaware, and now that it’s passed unanimously in the house, it’s on its way to the Senate floor.
“I found many times that those who are incarcerated and their families as well as the inmates are dealing with issues related to health and they’re waiting a long time for services,” Representative Ruth Briggs King said.
And that’s an issue that King hopes the bill can address.
“We have a responsibility to take care of serious health concerns so that’s the humane thing to do,” King said.
The bill adds resources and more personnel to a healthcare review committee, allowing them to be more independent of the Department of Corrections. The Sponsor of the bill, House speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, says this isn’t only helpful, but also necessary.
“If they’re not getting the information they need, the oversight they’re providing is probably not the best that it could be,” Schwartzkopf said.
Under the bill, the committee will continue to work hand-in-hand with the Department of Corrections to make sure inmates are receiving the healthcare they are entitled to, something the Department says will help everybody.
“This will be more transparency and will give us the opportunity to find and resolve issues with outside contractors,” Geoff Klopp, President of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, said.
Lawmakers in Delaware add that this bill is just the next step and making sure prisoners stay safe.