Miss. counties hope law limits inmate health costs

Published 1:42 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Counties across Mississippi are hoping a change in state law will save them thousands of dollars on inmates’ medical bills.

Lawmakers approved an amendment in the last session that reduces how much counties have to pay to treat state inmates and pre-trial detainees. How the reduction will take effect hasn’t been ironed out.

The law took effect after the governor’s signature April 7.

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Steve Gray, government affairs director of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, said inmate health costs can become “budget busters” for cash-strapped counties.

The law seeks to limit counties’ responsibility when bills exceed standard Medicaid rates or rates paid by the Missisippi Department of Corrections.