The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) announced it now has a new correctional health care partner servicing the Alachua County Jail (ACJ).
Starting Tuesday, Wellpath took over as the medical and mental health services provider for ACJ’s inmates, according to the ACSO’s Facebook page.
Wellpath replaces Corizon Health, who were contracted with the ACJ for nearly 15 years, said ACSO spokesperson Capt. Kaley Behl in an email reply.
“We sent a letter to [Corizon] on July 1, 2021, letting them know we would not seek a renewal of their contract set to end on Sept. 30,” Behl said.
The death of ACJ inmate Erica Thompson’s newborn baby on Aug. 9 did not trigger the change from Corizon to Wellpath, Behl said. An internal investigation cleared ACSO staff of wrongdoing, according to a report released on Nov. 30.
“The sheriff [Clovis Watson Jr.] made the decision to look at inmate health care shortly after taking office [on Aug. 18, 2020],” she said.
The process to evaluate health care providers varies and the contract with Corizon was reviewed annually, Behl said, but the new contract with Wellpath is for three years and with an option to renew for two additional one-year contracts.
An ACSO selection committee ranked Wellpath as its top choice, she said.
“[Wellpath] has a track record with an emphasis on mental health, which is another important concern,” Behl said.
According to its website, Wellpath is based in Nashville, Tenn., and has more than 15,000 clinicians and professionals at over 500 facilities in 34 states providing medical and behavioral care in correctional facilities.