Right to Medical Care for Inmates in County Jail
Federal law requires an inmate in a Pennsylvania county jail to “exhaust,” or complete, the jail grievance process established by the jail before he can file a lawsuit regarding the denial or delay of medical care. However, this process changes from county to county. Pennsylvania law only requires that each county jail have a written inmate grievance process, which must include: a) the methods available for submitting a grievance; b) the staff persons responsible for responding to a grievance; c) grievances must have a written response for record; d) An appeal process of at least one level; and e) time frames for responses and appeals. Information about the specifics of the grievance policy must be provided to every inmate within fourteen days of their admittance to the prison facility. Every inmate should KNOW and FOLLOW all grievance rules and procedures or risk losing their ability to recover for violations of their rights.