Butler County jail to expand medical staff
By Bill Vidonic
Published: Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
The Butler County Jail plans to add medical staff, but the cost will be covered by money the jail makes from housing state and federal prisoners, officials said Wednesday.
One part-time medical staff position will be converted to full-time status, and another part-time position will be added for weekend care, giving the jail five full-time and two part-time medical employees.
The county pays Wexford Health Sources more than $44,000 each month to provide health care to inmates.
The county commissioners on Wednesday approved a change in their contract with the company to increase the medical staff at a cost of $3,750 each month, or an additional $45,000 annually. The county's prison board will vote on the changes in October, though Warden Richard Shaffer said he expects them to be approved.
Shaffer pointed to several factors, including more inmates and a greater need for care beyond dispensing medication and giving routine physicals.
“So many inmates have so many serious medical problems,” Shaffer said.
For example, Shaffer, said one pregnant inmate is on methadone, and her unborn child has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Other inmates are dealing with diabetes and other ailments.
The contract says the county would have to address whether medical staff should be added if the daily prison population exceeded 375 over a 60-day period.
On Wednesday, Shaffer said, the 512-bed jail had 378 inmates, and recently reached 400.
Shaffer said the jail won't have around-the-clock medical staff, but a nursing supervisor is always on call.
Through Aug. 31, Shaffer said, the jail earned $845,000 from housing state and federal prisoners, a $60 daily rate for state prisoners and $76 for federal prisoners. The county budgeted earning just under $1.1 million for the year.
Shaffer said the jail has 38 federal inmates and 24 state inmates, though those numbers fluctuate.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.