MACON, Ga. — Tuesday, the Bibb County Sheriff's Office will ask commissioners to approve a new contract for inmate mental and physical health services.
The renewal contract with Correct Health Bibb costs about $4.6 million.
Sheriff David Davis compares running a jail to running a small city. That includes mental and physical healthcare for all inmates.
"We talk about, 'Put them in jail and feed them nothing but bread and water and don't give them any services,'" said Davis.
Sheriff Davis says that's how some may think a jail runs, but that's not the case.
"By the law, by duty, even we have a moral duty to provide for someone who is incarcerated. Whenever someone is in our jail, we are responsible for their wellbeing," Davis explained, and that includes mental and physical health services for all inmates.
Sheriff Davis says about 25 percent of people in the Bibb County jail need mental health services.
"They have counseling sessions, they also have whatever medications that people might need to become stable in their mental health," said Davis.
Those services are available on top of the full-scale infirmary for other medical issues from the common cold to dental work.
"A lot of the things that people can come down with -- a cold, flu, even that we had a few cases of COVID during the pandemic, but even with that, we're able to handle that within the jail," Davis said.
The $4.6 million price tag would fund mental and physical health services for inmates for the next year.
The commission is set to vote Tuesday.
The new contract will cost about $300,000 more than last year.