By David Castellon – Visalia Times-Delta
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If the Tulare County Board of Supervisors votes today to award a county jail medical contract to Tennessee-based Corizon, 58 county employees — most of them nurses, along with mental health technicians, social workers and office assistants — will lose their jobs.
Most of those laid off could end up being assigned to other county jobs or being hired by Corizon.
But Webster said that he and other SEIU officials aren’t happy with the county Health and Human Services’ Agency’s proposal to award the inmate healthcare contract to Corizon, citing complaints and lawsuits in other states in which the company has been accused of providing inadequate care for inmates.
In addition, [they believe] the county has acted improperly by allowing brochures encouraging jail health workers to apply for jobs with Corizon to be distributed in the jails before the county awards the contract. The company is also advertising jobs in jails here online.
“There is no contract, but they are being given access to workers and implying to those workers that this [contract] is done. But it also means that somebody very high up the ladder has cleared it to go into these work sites and said, ‘Go ahead. Start recruiting.’ ”