Criminal: OSBORNE V. COMMONWEALTH (SCOKY; 2/23/2006)


DATE: 2/23/2006

On discretionary review, SC held that county jails, not the Commonwealth, are responsible for paying the cost of providing psychotropic medications to inmates incarcerated at those county jails pursuant to KRS § 441.045(3). 

KRS § 441.045(3) provides, in pertinent part, that "the cost of providing necessary medical, dental, and psychological care for indigent prisoners in the jail shall be paid from the jail budget." Clearly this statute places the financial responsibility for covering all aspects of an inmate’s psychological care on the county jail.  The plain language of KRS § 441.047(1) reveals that this portion of the statute clearly applies to those situations where an indigent inmate receives "psychiatric evaluations, treatment or services" at a nearby state-supported or state-operated psychiatric facility.  It is only when this "in-house" treatment is rendered that the Commonwealth is responsible for the costs associated with such services.  By "in-house" we mean any treatment rendered at a state supported or state-operated facility or other suitable private facility outside the confines of the county jail.

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