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Commissioners call Valley Street jail 'safe, secure'
Articles reported that the county has paid $904,000 since 2008 to settle lawsuits brought by inmates and an employee over conditions at the jail, the largest in the state. Juries have also awarded former inmates $244,000 in the 2000s.
Holden said she can't predict what the Ornelas investigation will determine. But she said a person can sometimes walk around with a broken neck and not realize it is broken.
With the two largest cities in the state, the jail has to house an "extraordinarily difficult population," Pappas said. Primex, the insurer for New Hampshire counties, provided the experience ratings of claims for counties, but it has refused to say how those numbers are arrived at, saying they are trade secrets that could jeopardize its competitive standing.
"Dave (Dionne) has a different style; it's working," Holden said. "He tries to keep people happy, and he's concerned for the safety and security of guards and inmates."
Helen Hanks, director of medicine and forensic services for the state Corrections Department, said an inmate's medications must be verified by a physician or pharmacy when he or she enters state prison.
She said an inmate's psychiatric medication is usually continued until the inmate sees the prison psychiatrist, who may make changes to the medication.
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