Federal inspectors expected at Lake County jail next month

2012-09-13T14:00:00Z 2012-09-13T21:21:03Z Federal inspectors expected at Lake County jail next monthBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
September 13, 2012 2:00 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Lake County Sheriff John Buncich will be receiving federal jail inspectors next month for their fall review of inmate health care and safety concerns.

The sheriff said he expects to report improvements to representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice in complying with 99 provisions of a 2010 settlement to upgrade the jail when they visit the week of Oct. 8.

Justice officials cited the jail in 2009 for substandard health care and sanitary conditions for inmates.

The provisions the county must improve include mental health, medical and dental screening of new inmates as well as continuing care during their incarceration, timely delivery of medicine, screening whether inmates are suicide risks, adequate number of trained jail staff, whether the jail is properly cleaned, and whether inmates are properly fed and their complaints are documented.

More than 14,000 men and women spend some time in the lockup each year and more than 60 percent of them complain of some form of mental illness or substance abuse, according to a recent report by a county jail consultant.

Buncich said the county has brought 96 of the provisions up to partial or substantial compliance and is working on the meeting all 99 goals to end federal oversight entirely.

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