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Lawsuit Against Fluvanna County Prison Enters 3rd Day of Trial

Posted: Updated: Jun 13, 2018 05:32 PM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Medical care - or the lack of it - at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women remains under the microscope in Charlottesville's federal courthouse.

The bench trial began on Monday, June 11, and now it's entering its third day.

The center had previously agreed to change its healthcare policies following a previous lawsuit, but witnesses say inmates still aren't receiving the care they need and deserve.

Charlottesville's Legal Aid Justice Center is representing women who say the facility failed to provide them with proper care.

Most of the testimony on Wednesday, June 13, was from the director of health services for the Virginia Department of Corrections. He says the prison had a tough time keeping employees following a settlement on the issue back in 2016.

In 2016, the correctional center was ordered to completely redo its healthcare system after a court found inmates were not being treated properly.

The department of corrections says many employees left quickly or would not work at the prison for long following that court order.

According to testimony heard on Wednesday, the prison went as far as to offer $200 bonuses to encourage employees to show up for work.

The department also said any health grievances from inmates that listed more than one medical issue would be immediately rejected and not pursued.

The Legal Aid Justice Center claims three women died between 2017 and 2018 because of improper care. It's asking on behalf of the women that the judge hold the state in contempt, to enforce the settlement agreement reached in 2016, and to modify that agreement in very specific ways to ensure better care for the women at the prison.

This trial is scheduled to run through Friday, June 15.