Department of Corrections to appear in federal court this week - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Department of Corrections to appear in federal court this week

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 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Department of Corrections director Jose San Agustin can't wait to appear for a status conference in District Court this week to clear the air, as we reported the feds in recent court documents accused the agency of working together.

"I really feel that we are progressing or making great strides great progress," the director told KUAM News. The agency has been under a consent decree with the feds since 1991. But most recently it's been in the headlines for providing inadequate health, medical and mental care for inmates and detainees.

In was on June 6th District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood ordered DepCor and the US Department of Justice to work on a proposed schedule to implement a plan to provide adequate healthcare to inmates and detainees.  According to court documents filed by the feds although there were initial conversations further efforts to complete the process were stalled by the territory's lack of engagement.

San Agustin said, "I was kind of disturbed with regards to the feds saying we're not complying with them with regards to medical issue at DOC." He added that as a matter of fact four new nurses started working at DOC just today.

"I really feel that we are progressing or making great strides great progress - we continue to submit our required reports to the court every two weeks, as well as the requested policy scheduling plan that I did provide about a week ago to the court and so I'm just concerned because I'm trying to figure out where there coming from where I'm sure what we're doing is the right thing we're moving forward we're making better progress then we normally do. I don't go backwards we move forward," he said.

San Agustin will have the opportunity on Wednesday to make his case, saying, "In preparation for our hearing on the third of September I think that when we're able to put that out on the table and discuss everything that we intend to continue to work with the feds to comply but as of now we're not that far behind with regards to the medical needs to the prisoners, I think we're doing good."
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