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County moves to address suicides at the jail

February 14, 2017--5:32 p.m.

By David Crowder

The Floyd County Commission has approved an amendment to a contract with CorrectHealth for health services at the Floyd County Jail.

Floyd County Manager Jamie McCord said the increase of about $100,000 in the 2.6 million dollar contract comes as a response to a spike in suicides at the jail over an 18-month period in 2015 and 2016.

“The sheriff and chief deputy were analyzing it at mid-year last year and we had the same number of suicides in eighteen months that we had previous had in ten years,” McCord said. “We were averaging less than one a year and we had six or seven, I think, in eighteen months. I don’t know if anything that we as an organization or CorrectHealth was doing wrong, I just thought we needed to react to it and make sure it didn’t continue.”

McCord said CorrectHealth President Dr. Carlo Musso came up with a proposal, adjusting staffing and how inmates are processed when they come in.

“The ones who need to be looked at again are looked at in 48 hours,” he said. “We can take a second bite of the apple, so to speak, and make sure that no one is falling through the cracks. They are already under a lot of stress in being in a jail environment and you can see where you might miss out on some verbal communication where there might be a problem. We also put some telemedicine equipment into the process. We have electronic medical records and telemedicine, where that can be done after hours when medical staff might not be present.”

McCord said the situation has improved since the adjustments were made.

The amendment in the contract does not include back pay.

The contract includes the opportunity for four additional one-year renewals.