NJ Supreme Court upholds a ruling from the state’s highest court that will allow nearly 700 prisoners held in New Jersey prisons to receive some of their most serious medical treatment.
The New Jersey Court of Appeals ruled Monday that it is not appropriate for the state to keep prisoners confined in facilities where they are not medically fit to serve.
A lawyer for the New Jersey Prison Association, which represents the inmates, said the court ruling is the most significant court decision in the prison system since the 1980s.
The ruling was based on a case from 2011 in which a prisoner who had suffered severe brain damage was allowed to remain in a state hospital, despite his doctors telling him that he was too frail to make a full recovery.
The court’s ruling was unanimous.
The justices said it was “in the public interest” to allow the prisoners to continue their medical treatment, a condition that includes dialysis, dialysis therapy and other medical procedures.
In the past, inmates have been allowed to keep dialysis for less than five days because they can’t make it, the court said.
But in the 2011 case, the prisoner who suffered brain damage could not be treated for a week after he was taken to the state prison in Newark, N.J., where the doctors said he had no longer a chance to live.
The judge ruled that the state had a compelling interest in keeping the prisoners confined and that the prisoner should be allowed to receive medical treatment while in the state jail.
“This is a significant development that will ensure the inmates have the most medically capable doctors available to treat their injuries,” said Richard W. Tashkin, executive director of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which is representing the inmates.
The prisoners in the case had been held in a prison in Woodbridge, N,N.J.
They are among about 3,600 inmates held in state prisons across the country.
New Jersey is one of eight states with the largest population of inmates in state prison.
The state had spent $4.4 billion on medical care for inmates in the past five years, according to the most recent state budget, and about $3 billion of that money went to medical care and rehabilitation programs.
The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Medical Progress, a nonprofit group that focuses on health care in prisons.
Inmates in New York City have long complained of the lack of adequate medical care.
The group sued the state in February to obtain medical records that could shed light on why so many prisoners died in New Mexico.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Correction said Monday that the prison medical care was provided “in accordance with the laws of New Jersey and New York.”
The spokeswoman said the department has provided more than 2,200 medical care to inmates at the state facility, including over 700 dialysis appointments, and has “made a significant contribution to the medical care of inmates.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.