For the past 16 years, the medical needs of Texas' 160,000 prison inmates have been outsourced to the University of Texas Medical Branch and Texas Tech University, which have worked hard to provide care at the lowest possible cost. But with steep budget cuts and anticipated layoffs, critics contend the state could soon sacrifice the quality of that care — and could even face a legal challenge. Nathan Bernier of KUT News reports.

Meet Paige: Our new Facebook Messenger bot helps you keep track of the 85th Legislature. Subscribe by messaging HELLO to m.me/texastribune.org. Learn more.

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

Start the conversation