Sen. Keith Wagoner has introduced a bill to ensure prison inmates get the medical care they need while incarcerated at Washington state correctional facilities.
Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, prefiled Senate Bill 6063, which would require minimum qualifications for a prisoner medical director, set criteria for transferring a patient to a health care facility for medical assistance and standardize policies and procedures for offsite medical use and general medical practices.
Wagoner represents the 39th Legislative District, which is home to the Monroe prison where this legislation would have helped Kenneth Williams, who died after not receiving treatment for cancer while serving time at the correctional facility. Nursing staff found a lump on Williams’ chest. After seeing an oncologist, Williams was told to start aggressive chemotherapy. No treatment was given and Williams passed away in June.
“These requirements will ensure that patients get the care they need and that the professionals overseeing their medical treatment meet the medical standards needed to treat these patients,” said Wagoner. “This will cut down on costs and streamline treatment plans so inmates like Kenneth Williams aren’t dying in our prisons. We need to do more for the health and safety of our prison inmates and staff. This session I will be working with other members of the Senate Republican Caucus on several additional bills to address Department of Corrections deficiencies and management errors.”