On the outside, Richard Brent was a thief and a user.
He stole and used meth and heroin, acted tough and aggressive, all of which got him a 90-day sentence to Los Angeles Countys Mens Central Jail.
But for Dr. Lauren Wolchok, his physician on the inside, Brent is neither criminal nor inmate.
For her, he is a person in need of medical care like anyone else. Whether to help him monitor the pills he takes to manage HIV, link him to drug treatment or offer a sympathetic ear as he recounts a childhood that included maternal neglect, Wolchok said Brent is her patient, whether she had met him on the inside or outside.
I love this work. I just love it all, Wolchok said of her duties inside the massive jail in downtown L.A.s Chinatown, where…