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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 28 : Public Institutions and Corrections

Chapter 011 : Supervision of Adult Inmates at the Correctional Facilities

Subchapter 003 : Care of Inmates

(Cite as: 28 V.S.A. § 801)
  • § 801. Medical care of inmates

    (a) The Department shall provide health care for inmates in accordance with the prevailing medical standards. When the provision of such care requires that the inmate be taken outside the boundaries of the correctional facility wherein the inmate is confined, the Department shall provide reasonable safeguards, when deemed necessary, for the custody of the inmate while he or she is confined at a medical facility.

    (b)(1) Upon admission to a correctional facility for a minimum of 14 consecutive days, each inmate shall be given a physical assessment unless extenuating circumstances exist.

    (2) Within 24 hours after admission to a correctional facility, each inmate shall be screened for substance use disorders as part of the initial and ongoing substance use screening and assessment process. This process includes screening and assessment for opioid use disorders.

    (c) When there is reason to believe an inmate is in need of medical care, the officers and employees shall render emergency first aid and immediately secure additional medical care for the inmate in accordance with the standards set forth in subsection (a) of this section. A correctional facility shall have on staff at all times at least one person trained in emergency first aid.

    (d) The Department shall establish and maintain policies for the delivery of health care in accordance with the standards in subsection (a) of this section.

    (e)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, an inmate who is admitted to a correctional facility while under the medical care of a licensed physician, a licensed physician assistant, or a licensed advanced practice registered nurse and who is taking medication at the time of admission pursuant to a valid prescription as verified by the inmate’s pharmacy of record, primary care provider, other licensed care provider, or as verified by the Vermont Prescription Monitoring System or other prescription monitoring or information system, including buprenorphine, methadone, or other medication prescribed in the course of medication-assisted treatment, shall be entitled to continue that medication and to be provided that medication by the Department pending an evaluation by a licensed physician, a licensed physician assistant, or a licensed advanced practice registered nurse.

    (2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, the Department may defer provision of a validly prescribed medication in accordance with this subsection if, in the clinical judgment of a licensed physician, a physician assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse, it is not medically necessary to continue the medication at that time.

    (3) The licensed practitioner who makes the clinical judgment to discontinue a medication shall cause the reason for the discontinuance to be entered into the inmate’s medical record, specifically stating the reason for the discontinuance. The inmate shall be provided, both orally and in writing, with a specific explanation of the decision to discontinue the medication and with notice of the right to have his or her community-based prescriber notified of the decision. If the inmate provides signed authorization, the Department shall notify the community-based prescriber in writing of the decision to discontinue the medication.

    (4) It is not the intent of the General Assembly that this subsection shall create a new or additional private right of action.

    (5) As used in this subchapter:

    (A) “Medically necessary” describes health care services that are appropriate in terms of type, amount, frequency, level, setting, and duration to the individual’s diagnosis or condition, are informed by generally accepted medical or scientific evidence, and are consistent with generally accepted practice parameters. Such services shall be informed by the unique needs of each individual and each presenting situation, and shall include a determination that a service is needed to achieve proper growth and development or to prevent the onset or worsening of a health condition.

    (B) “Medication-assisted treatment” shall have the same meaning as in 18 V.S.A. § 4750.

    (f) Any contract between the Department and a provider of physical or mental health services shall establish policies and procedures for continuation and provision of medication at the time of admission and thereafter, as determined by an appropriate evaluation, which will protect the mental and physical health of inmates. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1985, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.); 1987, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2013, No. 34, § 30a; 2017, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 21, 2018; 2017, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)