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Home / Legislative / News / Cost of Indigent Health Care for County Jail Inmates Rises 22.1%

Cost of Indigent Health Care for County Jail Inmates Rises 22.1%



The cost of providing indigent health care to county jail inmates increased overall by 22.1 percent from fiscal year FY 2011 to FY 2016, according to survey data collected from 80 counties by the Texas Association of Counties (TAC).

Expenditures for the counties providing data for all six years varied from virtually no change from FY 2011 to FY 2013 to an 8.8 percent increase in FY 2014, followed by a 5.5 percent increase in FY 2015. 

In addition to the general mandate to provide indigent health care, counties operate under a mandate to provide certain constitutional minimum levels of care, including mental health care, while a person is incarcerated in the county jail.*

In 2016, TAC collected data covering a multi-year period on the cost of providing indigent health care to county jail inmates and on other unfunded mandates. The survey results for this mandate represent expenditures in the 80 responding counties only; they were not extrapolated to all 254 counties.

For more information on the costs of unfunded mandates or the methodology used to create the statewide extrapolations, see The Cost of County Government: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey.


*TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 104.002 and TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE, Chap. 61.