Sacramento County Supervisors Consider Proposal To Return Control of County Jail Medical Care to Sheriff
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors yesterday considered a proposal that would return control of medical care and mental health services for prisoners in the county jail to the county Sheriff's Department, the Sacramento Bee reports (Davila, Sacramento Bee, 12/3). County supervisors agreed to consider the proposal after a review found a number of problems with a one-year experiment that transferred control of medical care in the jail to the county Coroner's Office in August 2001. Under the supervision of the coroner's office, eight inmates died -- seven of them from suicide -- and prisoners often did not receive their prescribed medications (California Healthline, 8/15). The proposal would transfer 177 employees and reallocate $28 million of the $32 million coroner's office budget. In addition, the proposal would add about 30 new employees to the jail infirmary, which lost state accreditation last year. The proposal also includes provisions to improve internal communication, increase the number of nurses and improve suicide prevention campaigns at the jail. County Coroner E. Paul Smith and Sheriff Lou Blanas support the proposal. "Since I'm the one being named in some of the things that have occurred, I should have complete control of what goes on at the jail," Blanas said. The proposal could cost the county an additional $3.5 million next year, the Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 12/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.