Senate Bill 1341 ⁠— Supplemental, Idaho Department of Correction

Fred Birnbaum 2020 Senate spending bill ratings Leave a Comment

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Inmates and the costs to house them are increasing. While costs for out of state-placement of inmates must be covered, this supplemental contains $7.8 million in additional costs for medical services for inmates, but only a portion of this cost is actually population driven. This supplemental is not related to the out-of-state placement.

According to the SOP for S1341, $3.2 million of the incremental amount for medical services to comply with audit findings from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, (page 3-46, FY21 Legislative Budget Book) “pursuant to court order in the Walter D. Balla et al. v. Idaho State Board of Correction (Balla) court case. In short, the audit recommendations now require the medical services provider to permit up to three health service requests (HSRs) per inmate per day (instead of one).  This, in turn, required the medical services provider to hire additional staff. Of the total amount requested, $1,878,800 is one time to retroactively pay for the compliance costs of services provided from January of 2018 until May of 2019. Further, $1,292,700 is ongoing to pay for such services in FY 2020 and beyond.”  

Medical Services for prisoners are on an unsustainable trajectory, increasing 20.5% for actual medical service costs from Fiscal Year 2016 to Fiscal Year 2019.