JEFFERSON CITY — Cash-strapped sheriff's departments in Missouri are looking for ways to cut expenses, and one of those is to force inmates to pay their own medical expenses.
State law allows counties to recoup the costs of physician visits, dental care or medication from inmates, either through insurance or by levying against an inmate's assets.
The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman recently filed a lawsuit over inmates' failure to pay those expenses. It's not clear if other sheriffs will file lawsuits of their own, but they say they will make sure those staying in their jails will pay for such care.
Heitman says he has gotten a positive response from other sheriffs and plans to go to court on more cases.