Pierce County Jail Criticized For Health, Dental, Mental Staffing

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — More than 12 years after a lawsuit brought by Pierce County jail inmates was settled, a health expert has found shortcomings in medical, dental and mental health staffing.

The report was issued last month by Dr. Joseph Goldenson, head of jail health services in the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Jail officials say they’ll work to meet his concerns, but they add that he’s still learning about the lockup – and that some conditions he said needed improvement were described as OK by the previous monitor.

A lawyer for the inmates, Fred Diamondstone, says there’s little improvement since the last report. It’s the first report on medical care at the Pierce County jail since 2005, although two a year were mandated by the settlement in 1995.

Goldenson was chosen to make the examination after the previous doctor was removed last year for failing to file reports.