Barnstable County Sheriff Switching to In-House Medical Services

BOURNE – The Barnstable County Sheriff’s office is launching its own, in-house medical and mental health services team to care for inmates as opposed to a private vendor.

Officials said the contract with the current vendor, Wellpath, will not be renewed when it expires in October. 

With the majority of those incarcerated at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility eventually being released back into the local community, Sheriff Donna Buckley says that it is vital to give them the tools they need to readjust and succeed.

“Starting that work while people are incarcerated and doing the work to connect people with providers upon release is the best way to ensure that inmates have the tools they need to be less likely to reoffend,” said Buckley. 

“Our Sheriff’s offices have become our de-facto mental health and addiction treatment facility. Upwards of between 60 and 80% of inmates are dealing with mental health challenges and substitute disorders—sometimes both at the same time. We also know that these inmates are returning to our communities.” 

Buckley added that the private vendor model has more difficulty providing full staffing amid the Cape’s affordable housing challenges. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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