(Feb. 1, 2019) The Worcester County Commissioners last Tuesday unanimously approved a request for staffing adjustments in the medical service contract with the county jail.
Warden Donna J. Bounds said there was a need for the adjustment because of the high volume of inmates. The contract is with Correct Care Solutions, LLC, whose staff also helps with the Immigration Customs and Enforcement and State of Maryland audits, according to Bounds’ request.
Bounds requested several positions, including a registered nurse to serve as a director of nursing, an evening registered nurse for 24 hours per week, and an increase of four hours per week for additional administrative coverage, according to the request.
“The total increase for the requested adjustments in the current budget year would be approximately $963.33 per month for the RN to director of nursing position to bring the total monthly compensation to $103,043.38,” the request said.
The evening nurse and administrative coverage positions are for the fiscal 2020 budget year, according to Bounds’ request.
“We need to provide the adequate medical care, obviously,” Bounds said. “However, this department is overtaxed in their duties.”
In 2018, there were 26,332 service calls for medical and mental health personnel, according to Bounds’ request.
“That’s an enormous amount of service calls,” Commissioner Bud Church said.
Bounds said inmates must be seen within 14 days of arriving at the jail, and must meet with a medical professional before leaving the jail. She added any inmate that requests a sick call has to be seen within 24 hours.
“This is a busy department,” she said.
Commissioner Joseph Mitrecic asked Bounds how many inmates are in the jail on an average day, and she replied there were 325.
“So, 25 percent of them see a doctor every day?” Mitrecic asked.
Bounds clarified there are also blood pressure clinics, diabetes clinics and other reasons for medical attention, ranging from an ingrown toenail to a backache.
The Worcester County Jail also holds Immigrations Customs Enforcement detainees. Bounds said the jail is paid $87.11 per day per ICE inmate, and added there were about 182 inmates at the jail as of last Tuesday.
“Immigration has a standard that requires all medical care be provided for free,” Bounds said. “We cannot charge for services, so therefore we do not charge for the county inmates also to have this service.”
Mitrecic moved to approve the adjustment, which Church seconded.