Are pre-trial detainees being denied proper health care? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Are pre-trial detainees being denied proper health care?

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - It's the second time this week the issue was brought before the courts.

It was just yesterday Superior Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Alberto Tolentino issued an order to the Department of Corrections to provide the proper medical treatment to Keith Garrido, a defendant in a murder case dating back to 2012.

At the superior court earlier this week, Garrido's counsel, Assistant Public Defender Stephen Hattori, alleged his client wasn't receiving healthcare at the prison to treat Garrido who is diagnosed with HIV.

Today, a similar story. This time out of the District Court of Guam.

According to defense Attorney John Terlaje, his client, Francisco arias is a diabetic and suffers from high blood pressure.

Arias, who is charged with eleven others in connection to a major drug trafficking ring between Guam and Nevada, appeared at the federal court today for his pre-trial conference.

During proceedings, Terlaje stated his client is not receiving his daily medications at the prison.

In response, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood said she would issue an order if necessary.

And while Garrido and arias allege they're being denied the proper care for their conditions, DOC spokesperson Lt. Jeff Limo says otherwise telling KUAM today that medical staff confirm arias is in fact receiving his medications.

As for detainee Keith Garrido, Limo declined to comment.

These allegations follow a scathing report from the US Department of Justice earlier this year relative to mental, medical, and dental care at DOC.

The feds site how they've been striving to work with GovGuam to bring DepCor into compliance with the settlement agreement, but "instead it appears that the territory continues to operate in a reactive mode, perpetually responding to the latest crisis rather than following any plan calculated to provide access to care for DOC inmates."

According to KUAM files, DOC is working to meet standards. Among the items on their to-do list, DOC will recruit needed medical staff, establish a memorandum of understanding with the behavioral health services, and renovate rooms necessary for the suicide prevention program.

They've set their deadline for September 2015.
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