Reference Number: 
CTAS-1463

The county health officer or jail physician is required to attend on all workhouse prisoners while they remain in the jail building, after sentence to the workhouse, and give them such medicine and medical treatment as may be necessary. By law, the health officer and physician receive no additional compensation for such services other than their regular salary. T.C.A. § 41-2-118(a). If the county does not have a health officer or jail physician, the county may contract for medical services with a private physician. T.C.A. § 41-2-118(b).

Transfer to State Psychiatric Hospital

Whenever the sheriff or superintendent or other official in charge of the county workhouse or penal farm determines that a prisoner convicted and sentenced to the workhouse or penal farm requires hospitalization for treatment of a mental illness, the official may seek the admission of the prisoner to a state psychiatric hospital under T.C.A. § 33-6-201, Title 33, Chapter 6, Part 4 or Title 33, Chapter 6, Part 5. T.C.A. § 41-2-122(a).

A prisoner from a workhouse or penal farm who is admitted to a state psychiatric hospital under T.C.A. § 33-6-201, Title 33, Chapter 6, Part 4, or Title 33, Chapter 6, Part 5, shall be returned to the workhouse or penal farm when the superintendent of the hospital determines that the prisoner no longer meets the standards under which the prisoner was admitted or when continued hospitalization is no longer advisable or beneficial. T.C.A. § 41-2-122(b).

Reimbursement for State Inmate Medical Care

The state is liable for expenses incurred from the emergency hospitalization and medical treatment rendered to any state prisoner incarcerated in a county jail or workhouse provided that the prisoner is admitted to the hospital. The sheriff of the county in which the state prisoner is incarcerated must file a petition with the criminal court committing the state prisoner to the county jail or workhouse attaching thereto a copy of the hospital bills of costs for the state prisoner. It is the duty of the court committing the state prisoner to the county jail or workhouse to examine bills of costs, and if the costs are proved, the court is required to certify the fact thereon and forward a copy to the judicial cost accountant. The expenses for emergency hospitalization and medical treatment are paid in the same manner as court costs. T.C.A. § 41-4-115(b).

The state is responsible for the transportation costs and cost of any guard necessary when a state prisoner is admitted to a hospital or requires follow-up treatment. Such reimbursement is to be made according to the procedures established by T.C.A. § 41-8-106, but shall be in addition to the per diem established in T.C.A. § 41-8-106. T.C.A. § 41-4-115(c).

If a defendant serving a felony sentence in a local workhouse develops medical problems that the local workhouse is not equipped to treat, the court has the authority to transfer the defendant to the Department of Correction. T.C.A. § 40-35-314(e).