Denial of Adequate Medical Care for Inmate with Mental Health Disorders

This case study explores a situation where an inmate with mental health disorders was allegedly denied necessary medication and treatment in a correctional facility, raising questions about negligence.

ByWendy Ketner, M.D.


Published on February 15, 2024

Inmate and Guard

Case Overview

This case involves an inmate at a county jail who was prescribed medication to manage mental health disorders. Despite the established prescription, the correctional facility denied the inmate access to their necessary medication and appropriate treatment for nearly eight months.

The inmate's repeated pleas to the medical staff and administration went unheeded, leading to allegations of negligence against the correctional facility. This case seeks expert insight into the standard of care within correctional facilities, specifically regarding addressing medical concerns and providing inmates with proper medication.

Questions to the Criminal Justice expert and their responses


Please describe your background in correctional facility administration.

I hold a Ph.D. in criminal justice and have 25 years of experience working with corrections, ACA (American Correctional Association), and PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) auditors. My extensive experience has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of standards and procedures within correctional facilities.


What standards exist for addressing medical concerns and providing inmates with the proper medication?

Standards for addressing medical concerns and providing inmates with proper medication are governed by federal law and guidelines set forth by organizations such as the ACA. These standards mandate that inmates receive timely access to necessary medications and treatments, including those required for mental health disorders.


Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, please elaborate.

While I have reviewed numerous cases involving healthcare provision within correctional facilities, each case presents unique circumstances. More specific details about this particular situation would be needed before drawing parallels between it and previous cases I've examined.

About the expert

This expert boasts over two decades of experience in criminal justice and correctional facility management, with advanced degrees in criminal justice from renowned institutions. They are certified as both an American Correctional Association auditor and a Prison Rape Elimination Act auditor, demonstrating their comprehensive knowledge of correctional facility standards and regulations. Currently serving as a professor of criminal justice and security, an auditor for a national correctional facilities association, the COO of an independent correctional consultancy, and a corrections liaison at a county's department of health, this expert brings a wealth of practical and academic expertise to the case study.

Expert headshot



About the author

Wendy Ketner, M.D.

Wendy Ketner, M.D.

Dr. Wendy Ketner is a distinguished medical professional with a comprehensive background in surgery and medical research. Currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at the Expert Institute, she plays a pivotal role in overseeing the organization's most important client relationships. Dr. Ketner's extensive surgical training was completed at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, where she gained hands-on experience in various general surgery procedures, including hernia repairs, cholecystectomies, appendectomies, mastectomies for breast cancer, breast reconstruction, surgical oncology, vascular surgery, and colorectal surgery. She also provided care in the surgical intensive care unit.

Her research interests have focused on post-mastectomy reconstruction and the surgical treatment of gastric cancer, including co-authoring a textbook chapter on the subject. Additionally, she has contributed to research on the percutaneous delivery of stem cells following myocardial infarction.

Dr. Ketner's educational background includes a Bachelor's degree from Yale University in Latin American Studies and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. Moreover, she is a member of the Board of Advisors for Opollo Technologies, a fintech healthcare AI company, contributing her medical expertise to enhance healthcare technology solutions. Her role at Expert Institute involves leveraging her medical knowledge to provide insights into legal cases, underscoring her unique blend of medical and legal acumen.

Find an expert witness near you

What State is your case in?

What party are you representing?

background image

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our newsletter to stay up to date on legal news, insights and product updates from Expert Institute.