Ex-Tulsa Jail officials say inmates routinely denied meds
Jul. 20, 2017
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Two former Oklahoma jail officials allege a physician routinely delayed or denied medications to incoming inmates.
Former Capt. Billy McKelvey and former Maj. Shannon Clark of the Tulsa Jail filed testimonies Friday in a former inmate's civil rights lawsuit against Armor Correctional Health Services, the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/2uFF9t1 ) reported.
The suit alleges "deliberate indifference" to the medical needs of Catherine Lee Freeman. Freeman, 39, said she suffered seizures and was put on mechanical ventilation after the Armour physician halted her prescribed anxiety, depression and pain medications in 2014.
McKelvey said the physician refused to prescribe psychotropic medications to inmates.
"Instead, Armor would refer the medications to its physicians to have medications reordered," McKelvey said. "This often resulted in a delay of up to 14 days."
Clark said Armor's standard practice was to weigh an inmate's medical needs against the estimated length of time a person would be detained.
"Based upon my observations, if Armor concluded the consequences of denying medication would not manifest until after the arrestee was discharged from the facility, Armor would not actively seek to continue the medication," Clark said. "It was my understanding that Armor's practice saved it money because Armor was responsible for medication costs under its contract with Tulsa County."
Armor said Freeman was monitored and prescribed medications to assist with withdrawal.
"Because she informed the intake nurse that she was a daily opioid user and she was asymptomatic, Plaintiff was placed on the Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal program pursuant to Armor policy," attorneys for Armor state