DeGise announces termination of medical-services provider contract in response to yet another inmate suicide at Hudson jail

Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise made the following statement after more than three hours of meetings and an inspection of the Hudson County Corrections and Rehabilitation Center Monday, March 26, in response to the suicide of Carlos Borroto, 26, of West New York Sunday, March 25, while in custody in the facility.

“I want to first offer my condolences to the family of Carlos Borroto and thank the Hudson County Corrections staff who came to his aid and did their duty to the fullest in their efforts to resuscitate Mr. Borroto.

“With an initial review this tragic incident now complete, it is clear that the failure of CFG Medical Services personnel, specifically failure to review Mr. Borroto’s previous corrections electronic medical intake history showing expressions of suicidal intentions listed in an intake for a separate arrest in May of 2017, led to his being placed in the regular inmate intake population on Friday evening. This allowed him the time and opportunity to take his own life Sunday morning he would not have had in our psychiatric mental health unit for male prisoners.

“As a result of this latest incident, and other failures to meet an appropriate standard of care, I have directed the County Counsel’s Office to begin accelerated termination of CFG’s contract to provide medical services at the jail. During the transition period prior to a new provider replacing CFG, I will recommend to the Board of Chosen Freeholders that the county seek the services of a professional medical monitoring firm to oversee CFG’s service to those in our custody.

“One death is too many among those in our custody. In response to the suicide deaths of two female inmates in 2017, I authorized the creation of a separate $1.2 million female psychiatric-care unit. Now in the wake of this tragedy, we must act again. We will seek out the best possible provider to replace CFG, one with a history of success in dealing with the significant challenges in treating mental illness among the incarcerated.”

During his tour of the Hudson County Corrections & Rehabilitation Center, the County Executive visited the cell where Borroto took his life and where corrections officers raced to his aid.

Director of Correction Ronald Edwards described, in grim detail, how Borroto was able to enter his cell in the new inmate housing unit, close the door for privacy (there are toilets in each cell) and then hang himself using a laundry bag hooked on the corner edge of an upper bunk, breaking his neck with a fall from a bunk just four feet or so off the ground, by throwing his feet out in front of him as if he were falling into a chair.

The proposed medical monitor candidates to provide oversight during remaining time CFG remains at the jail will be presented to the Board of Chosen Freeholders this week.

CFG signed a five-year contract with the county Nov. 30, 2016, renewing their services at the jail. CFG is the medical provider in a number of County Correctional Centers in New Jersey.

They are based in Marlton in South Jersey.

Laundry bags with strings of any kind have been removed from the new inmate housing unit.

Suicide and heart failure are the most common types of death among the incarcerated according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Borroto was brought into custody on warrants from the West New York and North Bergen police departments. Charges included resisting arrest-eluding police, aggravated assault-domestic violence, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, simple assault and cruelty, torture and tormenting of animals.

West New York police arrested Borroto Friday, March 23, on those charges. During his arrest, he threatened officers that he would “jump off a bridge,” prompting them to take Borroto to Palisades General Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

He was judged fit for incarceration and transferred to the jail.

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