Sheriff Greg Day makes move to improve medical care to inmates

BEDFORD – The Lawrence County Commissioners Tuesday morning approved a contract with Quality Correctional Care to provide medical and mental health care to those incarcerated in the jail.

Sheriff Greg Day

“Since taking office, I have looked to make improvements to the department and jail,” added Sheriff Day. “One huge issue was the medical care for inmates.”

The new contract will take effect on January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2024. The cost of the service is $354,660 which is $2,397.44 less than the current provider.

“It will increase services dramatically and make impressive improvements in the jail,” said Sheriff Day.

Quality Correctional Care is an Indiana-based facility that specializes in the assessment and care of inmates with medical, mental, and addiction disorders.

Here are some of the highlights of the service provider:

  • 84 hours of nursing coverage a week, a nurse will be on staff seven days a week. This will ensure a medical provider is on-site daily for at least 12 hours. Now, medical staff will handle both morning and evening medication distribution. Currently, there are only 56, and a nurse is only available three days a week. There is no medical provider available on the weekends, putting a huge burden on jail staff.
  • A doctor will be on-site one day per week.
  • A mental health professional will be on-site a minimum of one day per week.
  • There will be 24-hour per-day telecommunication with doctors and mental health providers.
  • Prescription medication costs are covered except for a handful of specialty treatments in the cost of the contract.
  • The contract provides a $56,000 off-site service for inmates who must leave the jail for treatment.
  • Medical training will be provided to jail staff, including but not limited to initial medical and mental health screenings at book-in, medical protocols for various situations, suicide risk and prevention, and specialized training such as CPR, AED, Narcan, and others.
  • Administrative support to inmates for assistance programs such as Medicaid and Healthy Indiana.
  • Planned and coordinated continued health care for inmates after their release or transfer to another facility.
  • Psychological testing, at the sheriff’s request, for new hire applicants for jail officer positions
  • Employee “critical incident response” services and counseling.
  • Assistance with grant funding opportunities for group counseling and in-house drug rehabilitation programs.

In addition to providing medical and mental health services, Quality Correctional Care will offer a complete package of services to ensure a facility’s compliance with the newly passed House Bill 1269. In short, this bill requires that any inmate housed in a facility for 30 days or more have an application submitted to receive Medicaid benefits.

Quality Correctional Care conducts training with correctional officers designed by medical professionals to ensure that up-to-date medical practices and protocols are in place for the safety of officers and inmates and emphasize the importance of correctional officers’ role in the health, safety, and treatment of inmates in their care, and strive to form a partnership with jail officers.

This morning, 119 inmates were housed at the jail. Of those, 95 were males, 24 were females, 18 were Department of Correction holds, and 10 were Level 6 felons.