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San Luis Obispo County considers outsourcing health care at county jail

Posted at 6:58 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 21:58:50-04

San Luis Obispo County could soon outsource health care services at the county jail.

The Board of Supervisors will consider the plan at a meeting Tuesday. Currently, employees of Public Health and Behavioral Health are in charge of medical care and mental health care in the jail.

If the new plan is approved, those services would be outsourced.  Staff would also start looking for a company to contract with, and it would authorize Human Resources to go ahead with staff retention incentives to help during the transition, totaling up to $250,000.

A report from Sheriff Ian Parkinson said, "although the health care staff at the Jail are extremely dedicated, recruitment and retention has remained a significant challenge."

The Sheriff’s Office says outsourcing health services could impact 24 people who currently work for the county, however, those people would likely be offered jobs in other departments.  The report says many other counties currently outsource medical and mental health care to private correctional health companies, which specialize in health care for jail inmates.

The potential change comes after several inmates died in the jail.

To read the full plan, click here.