- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Medical costs for Caddo Correctional Center prisoners are expected to exceed 2015 budgeted expenditures by $350,000, or 5 percent. That’s according to Caddo Commission documents.

The Times reports (https://bit.ly/1GJmIFv) the commission appropriated $3.5 million to cover health care for prisoners this year but payments made through Sept. 30 indicate costs are much more than the parish expected.

The Caddo Commission is seeking to amend the 2015 budget to reflect the anticipated expenses through the end of the year. The commission unanimously agreed Monday to move the agenda item to Thursday when it will meet again.

Even though CCC is under the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s office, the Caddo Commission pays to keep prisoners healthy.

Woody Wilson, parish administrator, said prescription drugs are having the greatest impact on costs.

“We look for ways to buy discount drugs to bring the costs down,” Wilson said. “In spite of our best efforts, it’s kind of hard to keep it under control but that’s our biggest expense out there.”

The parish also pays for prisoners to have dialysis and surgery, if needed.

Erica Bryant, the parish’s finance and human resources director, said the parish pays the bill to the sheriff’s office. She said the sheriff’s office is working to try to keep costs down.

Bryant said this includes getting high-cost prisoners, such as those with existing medical conditions, out of the system and not housing them for the long-term.

“We try to get the courts to work with us to release those inmates sooner,” Wilson said.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com

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