ANDERSON — A new medical services provider will be offering expanded mental health services for Madison County’s correctional facilities.
County officials recently approved a contract with Quality Correctional Care, which took over medical services at the jail, community corrections and the juvenile center on Oct. 18.
Sheriff Scott Mellinger said S&R Medical Services provided the services to the county for close to two decades and decided to terminate the control as a result of the jail overcrowding.
“We’re 40% over capacity on average most days, the general health of the inmates is not as good, and there is the drug problem,” he said.
Mellinger said the female population at the jail has “exploded” over the past 15 years and is now averaging 80 women daily.
“With more women the number of pregnant inmates is on the rise,” he said. “In most cases, the women don’t have the assets to bond out and they are also not complying with court sanctions at a higher rate.”
Mellinger said the county was forced into finding a new medical care provider by the S&R decision.
Quality Correctional Care is currently providing medical services in 63 of Indiana’s 92 counties, Mellinger said.
The annual cost of the new service is $850,000, which is $100,000 higher than what the county was paying.
“They are providing mental health services, increased the number of hours that a licensed nurse is at the jail and actively enrolling inmates into Medicare and the HIP (Healthy Indiana Program),” he said.
Anthony Emery, president of the Madison County Council, said Mellinger indicated the cost would be higher for a new medical services provider.
“The sheriff thought it might be $70,000 to $80,000 higher,” he said. “We’re hoping the effort to enroll inmates into Medicaid and HIP will offset some of the overall costs.”
Emery said expenses to operate county government are increasing and the amount of available funds is being stretched to the limit.
“It’s become more difficult to cover the day-to-day operating expenses,” he said.