Inmates HIV drugs costing taxpayers big bucks -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Inmates HIV drugs costing taxpayers big bucks

Posted: Updated:

February 29, 2008

Thomasville-- South Georgia counties spend millions of dollars of your tax money, every year on health care for jail inmates.  Jailers in Thomas County say some pricey medications are hurting taxpayers, and putting a strain on their budget.

The chief jailer at Thomas County Jail, Virginia Williams says sometimes they will have 2 to 3 inmates who are HIV positive in the jail at a time. That may not seem like a lot. . . until you hear the price of their medication.

"Once they come to jail and they're incarcerated, it runs us anywhere between $800 and $1300 per month.  If they're on more than one than its, whatever that medication is, we have to pay it," says Williams.   

The longer the inmate is in jail, those costs really adds up.  "I think the longest we had one here was about 8 months," says Williams.  Medication for that one inmate cost the county around $6,400.

"It puts a huge dent in our budget, especially if you have 2 or 3 inmates on medication and you have alloted amounts for medication for inmates, that takes from other areas that we might need," says Williams. 

She says the costs are not only affecting inmates and detention officers, its hurting the taxpayers too.  And without those extra medical costs Williams says they could buy much-needed equipment for the jail.