District 4 Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Corridor stated she generally will get complaints from residents about inmates being handled unfairly on the Fulton County Jail.
“The opposite day I used to be in Walmart and a constituent stated her husband is bipolar and is in jail,” Corridor stated. “She needed to get an legal professional simply to get his meds to him. He had been in there for … six weeks.”
Her criticism of the jail was considered one of a number of talked about by residents and commissioners throughout the Fulton Board of Commissioners’ Oct. 21 recess assembly, the place the board voted on two jail-related contracts being renewed for 2021. The assembly was held nearly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board voted 6-1, with District 6 Commissioner Joe Carn dissenting, to approve NaphCare’s one-year contract renewal for offering psychological and bodily well being providers to the jail and different amenities, at a price of $25.1 million. It additionally voted 7-0 to approve the renewal of a one-year contract with Aramark Correctional Providers to offer inmate meals providers on the jail and different amenities, at a price of $3.7 million.
However earlier than every vote, commissioners and others recounted different issues they’d heard about on the jail, each with its meals and well being providers.
“I’ve a private concern as a result of I’ve a relative within the Fulton County Jail, and he was denied getting a COVID check as a result of he hasn’t been sentenced,” stated Shelia Hamilton, who spoke throughout the assembly’s public remark portion and stated she represents a company advocating on behalf of inmates. “I’ve watched Dr. (Lynn) Paxton’s staff’s (earlier) shows on COVID and the jail.
“It was acknowledged the detainees weren’t pressured to take the check, however I’m very involved that in the event that they requested the check, that they couldn’t be given a check. Because of the elections division for going to the jail to permit inmates not but convicted of against the law to vote, however my concern is others want absentee ballots.”
Later within the assembly, Col. Mark Adger, the chief jailer, stated after listening to Hamilton’s gripe, he known as a NaphCare rep and the assistant U.S. legal professional’s workplace about ensuring all inmates might, transferring ahead, get a COVID check in the event that they requested one.
Concerning Aramark’s contract, Alton Adams, the county’s deputy COO for public security, praised the corporate and stated the brand new contract would come with particular meals for inmates with diabetes, hypertension and spiritual considerations over some meals.
However Carn and District 5 Commissioner Marvin Arrington Jr. stated they’re perplexed why inmates should pay 5 or 10 cents further for salt and/or pepper, condiments that ought to be routinely included with meals. Adger defined that the salt and pepper had been charged by one other jail vendor.
Nonetheless, he stated, Aramark’s contract “requires for heart-healthy meals, so the contract requires salt and pepper to not be allowed. These inmates are affected by hypertension and different (well being issues). So salt and pepper are a part of the listing of things inmates can request for a charge.”
Stated Arrington, “You possibly can nonetheless present heart-healthy meals however present salt and pepper on the aspect. … Salt and pepper ought to be obtainable with each meal served, interval.”
At earlier conferences, residents have complained about inmates being nickel and dimed for salt, pepper and different gadgets and providers they stated the jail ought to present free of charge. Adams stated he would work with Adger to give you a manner for salt and pepper to be supplied free of charge to inmates, however they must request it.
Concerning NaphCare’s service to the jail, Adger and Adams praised the corporate for enhancements in service over Fulton’s earlier vendor and its function in serving to keep away from a COVID-19 outbreak there. Of the two,000 complete inmates which have been on the jail this yr since March, solely 107 examined optimistic.
However Corridor and Carn criticized NaphCare for its workers being unprofessional and for the corporate not offering masks usually sufficient to inmates, respectively.
“I heard rumors that the masks had been being rationed out,” Carn stated. “Some stated it was one per thirty days (per inmate). So I’m not so sizzling on supporting (NaphCare), however I do know we want a medical supplier. … I’ve by no means heard, ‘Hey, we bought wonderful medical care on the jail.’ I’m nonetheless ready to listen to that.”