1995-1996 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

May 31, 1996
Contact: Spencer Boise, Foreman
Phone (805) 568-2292


The 1995-96 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury today reported results of its investigation into the medical services provided by Prison Health Services, Inc. for the County’s Main Jail and Santa Maria Branch Jail, after the first ten months of the company’s five-year contract.

The Grand Jury investigation was prompted after noting some deficiencies in medical services by Santa Barbara County Health Services, the former medical provider at the County Jail prior to the new contract with Prison Health Services effective July 1, 1995.

The Grand Jury reviewed the performance of Prison Health Services for quality assurance, oversight and compliance. The report noted the contract was generally well prepared and there were significantly fewer grievance by inmates since the implementation of the new contract.

Despite the overall improvement in medical care, the Grand Jury discovered several contract violations and instances of non-compliance by Prison Health Services which require corrective action.

Among the instances of failure to meet contract terms, the Grand Jury cited mandatory 14-day health appraisals were not performed as required; reports of injuries and deaths were not filed under standard operating procedures; levels of service at the Santa Maria Branch Jail and staffing at the Main Jail were changed without amending the contracts; and accreditation with the California Medical Association was not obtained within the required period of time.

In its recommendations, the Grand Jury emphasized that the Jail Commander is the County’s administrator for prison health functions and should be responsible for contract compliance, oversight and appropriate amendments to the contract with Prison Health Services.

The Grand Jury also recommended that the scope of services should be modified contractually to ensure better examinations and care for pregnant inmates.

The full report is posted at on the Grand Jury’s World Wide Web page. Copies of the report are also available at the Superior Court Jury Services office at 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, or call 568-3139.