County Board Proposes Moving Jail Medical In-house
Supervisors Call for Accountability in the Delivery of Mandated Healthcare
MILWAUKEE – The County Board approved (16 – 0) a proposal from Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., today that calls for Milwaukee County to provide inmate medical services, rather than continuing to contract with outside, private vendors.
Milwaukee County employees are best equipped to provide quality healthcare to inmates and detainees at the Jail and House of Correction. Caring for those who are in our custody is a core function and a tremendous responsibility. As public servants, Milwaukee County employees are committed to providing the high quality services that taxpayers expect. I’m confident that bringing the provision of healthcare in-house is the best way to deliver quality care and guarantee real accountability and transparency, said Lipscomb.
In 2013, a judge ordered Milwaukee County to contract with Armor Correctional Health Services, citing the County’s struggle to meet staffing criteria established by a legal settlement known as the Christensen Decree.
A Milwaukee County audit of Armor’s performance, requested by Lipscomb and made public in August, revealed chronic understaffing during the period of Armor’s management.
Lipscomb’s proposal calls for the House of Corrections, the Office of the Sheriff, the Office of Corporation Counsel, the Office of the Comptroller, and the Department of Administrative Services to report to the County Board in January with a plan to provide inmate medical services in-house.
Armor’s current contract expires at the end of December, but the Abele Administration recently extended that contract through March 31, 2019, at a cost of $5.7 million, while it works to identify a different private vendor.