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Every day, hundreds of sick and injured patients walk into free and charitable clinics around the Tampa Bay area in need of a doctor.Many are suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients were referred to the clinics by staff at hospitals where they landed after years of neglecting to care for treatable conditions.The clinics allow the patients to pay what they can, or nothing at all. They are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time. They survive off donations and small grants.Many of the patients have jobs but they are living paycheck to paycheck. None have health insurance, either because they do not qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private coverage. For these patients, the clinics are often their only option for primary care.

Teens Testify About ‘Cage,’ Pepper Spray

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Polk County Sheriff's Office
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Teenagers who were being held at the adult Polk County Jail took the stand in a federal class-action lawsuit that asserts they were given inhumane treatment, including prolonged isolation and being pepper-sprayed while held in cages. 
As the Lakeland Ledger reports (paywall alert), the suit was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the Polk County Sheriff's Office and Corizon, the company that provides the jail’s medical services.
The lawsuit also alleges the jail didn’t provide adequate mental health services for the juveniles held in the adult jail. 
An attorney for Corizon, the health services contractor, presented documentation that showed several instances of the staff responding to requests for follow-up treatment for a teen who was held in isolation, the Ledger reports. 

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.