Commissioners approve termination of jail’s mental health contract

first_imgFARMINGTON – Franklin County will be seeking a new provider for mental health and substance abuse services at the Franklin County Detention Center over the next few weeks, after moving to terminate its contract with a local provider on Tuesday.Following an executive session, county commissioners moved to terminate the county’s contract with Evergreen Behavioral Services as of 11:59 p.m. Friday. That decision relates to personnel turnover within Evergreen, as those changes resulted in the jail not having access to the certified personnel required by state corrections requirements.The two individuals that previously provided services to the jail with Evergreen will continue to do so under Sinskie Therapy Services of Farmington on an interim basis. According to Sheriff Scott Nichols, that will allow the jail to meet state requirements over the next few weeks as the county issues a request for proposals to meet the facility’s mental health needs.Nichols noted that the issue arose due to the personnel changes and a lack of state-required certifications, rather than any deficiency on the part of Evergreen, which is behavioral healthcare office associated with Franklin Memorial Hospital. A certain number of licensed clinical social workers is required to meet those state standards, Nichols said.“This isn’t punitive,” Nichols said of the decision. “We just need to make sure [the jail] is covered as we go through the RFP.”Sinskie Therapy Services is operated by Dalene Sinskie, who previously provided services to the jail with Evergreen.Nichols noted that Evergreen could to issue a proposal to provide services after the RFP goes out, presuming they re-filled the required positions.County Clerk Julie Magoon said that the county was in its third year of a contract with Evergreen. No financial penalty is anticipated as a result of the termination, due to the circumstances.In other business, commissioners opted to wait until next year to clean the courthouse’s 5,000-gallon underground tank. The cleaning will remove any sludge in the tank, preventing it from running through the courthouse heating system. The county will try to use up any fuel in the tank prior to April 1, limiting the amount that may need to be pumped out prior to cleaning.last_img

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