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Audit: Coordination of Prison Health Care Needed

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A state audit says health care services for the approximately 9,000 adult inmates in Minnesota prisons should be better coordinated and more accountable.

Minnesota has one of the lowest inmate mortality rates in the nation, but recent high-profile deaths in state prisons prompted legislative auditor Jim Nobles to examine how the Department of Corrections care for the medical, dental and mental health needs of others.

Reports say nearly one-third of inmates in the state’s aging prison population have chronic ailments, including heart disease and diabetes. The audit found offenders with mental illnesses spend more time in segregated cells than other inmates. Corrections officials say they don’t segregate offenders who aren’t responsible for their behavior.

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