The cost of providing long-term healthcare to inmates is squeezing jailhouse budgets in Santa Cruz County, and now the Sheriff is looking to save money by outsourcing some of those services.

The proposal would send some treatment, x-rays, prescriptions, and other services to a firm based in Monterey. They would also help the county deal with recruitment and retention efforts for jail medical services. The proposal is thought to be worth about $600,000 in savings for the jail system.

The company in question, California Forensic Medical Group, already provides similar services to 25 counties statewide and have been doing so since 1984.

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

Tight budgets and the prospect of longer local jail stays are forcing Sheriff Phil Wowak to consider outsourcing the medical treatment of county inmates.

The proposal is contained within the sheriff’s proposed annual budget, released earlier this month. According to the plan, the county would hand over prisoner treatment, including X-rays, prescriptions and more, to Monterey-based California Forensic Medical Group, saving an estimated $600,000 in the process.

Read the full article here.