More staff, suicide prevention services pledged at Cuyahoga County Jail in new plan with MetroHealth

More staff, suicide prevention services pledged at Cuyahoga County Jail in new plan with MetroHealth
Corrections officer inside the Cuyahoga County jail. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cuyahoga County and MetroHealth Hospitals have announced an expanded plan for comprehensive healthcare services at the county’s jails after recent inmate deaths.

“These inmates are in our care and deserve to be kept safe and healthy,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. "This new, comprehensive program will be a model for the country.”

MetroHealth has agreed to enhance all healthcare operations at all three jails in the Cuyahoga County system following a scathing report from the U.S. Marshals Service regarding the conditions that inmates and staff endure.

“Our commitment to all Cuyahoga County citizens, including inmates compels us to address health care needs quickly and effectively,” said MetroHealth President and CEO, Akram Boutros, MD. “Our new shared accountability, enhanced services, and enhanced staffing means we can improve and, in some cases, save lives."

Enhancements include:

  • Providing services that meet the accreditation standards of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care
  • Additional staffing levels in the areas of medical, behavioral and addiction services and pharmacy
  • High quality medical staff recruitment and training
  • Adherence to suicide triage and expanded mental health services
  • Expanded Medically Assisted Treatment programming
  • Development of a continuous quality improvement program
  • Unified medical operations at the Euclid and Bedford jails
  • Correctional Officers specifically assigned to the medical unit
  • Development of performance-based metrics to track program outcomes

Thirty-two additional staff members are expected to be added to the jail sites.

“I believe this agreement is a critical step in beginning to solve our problems in the County jail and I very much appreciate the MetroHealth System’s willingness to step up and help us at this critical time,” said Council President Dan Brady.

The overall cost of the new initiative will cost approximately $13.6 million.

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.