The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners this week approved an amended contract with the detention center’s medical provider to boost personnel and cover the cost to care for additional inmates.

Commissioners Rod Cleveland, Rusty Grissom and Darry Stacy each voted Monday in favor of the changes, which are effective March 1.

“We want to do everything we can to take care of the people that are in the jail,” Grissom told The Transcript. “I know there’s been some issues and I don’t know that this was necessarily the issue, but if we can do something that makes it better ... that’s what we’re after.”

Turn Key Health Clinics is the contracted medical services provider for the county jail and other jails throughout Oklahoma.

Changes contained in the contract include raising the number of overnight health care workers from one to two, increasing the number of hours for mental health providers, and requiring medical staff to observe detainees taking medication, officials said.

“The biggest thing is just they’re adding additional hours for health care providers to be present in the jail,” Sheriff Chris Amason said after the meeting.

Under the terms of the contract, the county will pay Turn Key, $120,245.52 per month to provide medical and nursing services for an average daily population of 500 inmates — about $50,000 more per month than the previous contract, Amason said.

Should the average daily population exceed 500 inmates, the county will pay Turn Key a per diem of $2.43 per inmate, per day, above 500, according to the adjusted contract.

“We are constantly reviewing our procedures and making sure that we’re providing the best services for our citizens, to include those that are incarcerated in the detention center,” Amason told The Transcript. “It’s my duty as the sheriff to provide them the best services while they’re in my custody and that’s what I intend to do.”

Stacy said the detention center’s average daily population typically runs in excess of 500, which the county didn’t previously pay for. He estimated the jail currently runs over that mark by between 50 and 100 inmates daily.

“My biggest issue and concern moving forward is that we more closely monitor and work with the mental health consumers,” Stacy said. “Obviously we have a large number of individuals in our county jail and those that are incarcerated across the country in county jails that have mental health issues.

“I think we need to take a proactive role in dealing with those issues. Turn Key has been willing to do that and it’s my understanding, with this contract, they’re going to address some more of those issues. and that it will give them an opportunity to be more proactive in that area.”

Trending Video

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you