HB 1112 —Task Force to Study Health Care for Inmates in Correctional Facilities - Maryland Catholic Conference

HB 1112 —Task Force to Study Health Care for Inmates in Correctional Facilities

Committee: House Judiciary

Position: Support

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

House Bill 1112 would create a task force for one year to study the policies and practices of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services with regard to inmates’ access to health care services and the quality of those services, and requires the task force to make recommendations regarding changes necessary to address any issues.

The Conference supports legislation that ensures access to quality, affordable, and life-giving health care for all, especially for vulnerable populations such as those currently incarcerated. Every effort must be made to make health care services available to all those who need it. The Conference will support expanding access to health care options for all who need it, regardless of status, as every person has a basic right to adequate health care arising from the Church’s teaching on the sanctity and dignity of human life.

Access to adequate health care services is imperative for ability of the inmate to function while incarcerated as well as once back in society. It’s a necessity that all men and women have appropriate access to health care services, regardless of their current placement in life. Simply the relative isolation of confinement is enough to aggravate existing health issues or create new ones.

The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on House Bill 1112.