Lawmakers Study Privatizing Prison Medical Care

Lawmakers Study Privatizing Prison Medical Care

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- A preliminary study finds Utah prisons wouldn't save as much money as they originally thought by privatizing medical care for inmates.

A legislative fiscal analyst also says more study on the issue is needed.

The analyst says the Utah Corrections Department has become more efficient and is providing better care these days.

The state analyst advised than an independent consultant be hired to look into the idea of finding a private company to handle inmate health care. Lawmakers authorized the collection of bids from interested consultants.

Corrections officials, some of whom came to Tuesday's meeting armed with charts and graphs and poised to defend the current program, said they welcome the more extensive study if it will put an end to the privatization debate.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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