Abraham v. Corizon

In Abraham v. Corizon, the Oregon Supreme Court will decide whether Corizon and other for-profit healthcare providers are bound by the Oregon Public Accommodations Law—an ADA analogue that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. To help the state high court answer that question, MJC filed an amici brief on behalf of Disability Rights Oregon, the ACLU of Oregon, and the Criminal Justice Reform Clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Prison and jail healthcare is big business, earning the five largest players more than $4 billion annually. Nationally, 28 state prison systems and an estimated 62% of people incarcerated in jails receive their care from private contractors like Corizon, Wexford, and Wellpath. Sold by private equity and hedge fund managers as a market-based improvement to publicly provided correctional healthcare, the reality does not match the hype. While costs have soared, health outcomes have plummeted, leaving a trail of death and destruction behind.

We explain the perverse incentives, market failures, and accountability gaps that spell disaster for incarcerated people who get their healthcare from for-profit jail and prison providers. We share the stories of people killed and maimed by this lucrative but broken system. And we explain why holding healthcare providers accountable under disability discrimination laws can save lives in Oregon and across the nation.