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Medical Services At County Jail Being Turned Over To Outside Vendor

Michael Coghlan

Inmates at the Tippecanoe County Jail will soon have access to expanded health care services.

The county has entered into a contract with Muncie-based Quality Correctional Care to manage the facility’s medical staff.

Sheriff Barry Richard says the agreement includes a 60% increase in mental health treatment hours and a 35% increase in skilled nursing hours.

He says it also takes the responsibility of hiring nurses away from jail staff.

“It’s taken administrative time and jail personnel time away to always advertise, interview, hire, and search for appropriate candidates," says Richard. "And that’s not real easy, so with this being done it’s going to help us in many different areas besides the quality of the care of the inmates.”

Former sheriff Tracy Brown, who is now a county commissioner, sat on the committee that chose the new company.

He says the expanded services are worth the slight increase in the jail’s health care budget.

“When you can extend those services for what amounts to about 50-thousand dollars more a year, that’s a win for everyone involved,” says Brown.

Commissioners approved the contract Monday morning.

It must also be approved by the County Council, which meets next week.

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