The Butler County Prison plans to start washing incoming inmates with a substance to help prevent the spread of certain infections.
A prison official couldn’t provide exact data on how many cases of Staph or MRSA comes through the prison, but said there have been some ‘serious cases’ in the past.
The new procedure will cost the county roughly $2,000 per year.
The Butler County commissioners voted 2-1 during a meeting Wednesday to implement the procedure, with some debate regarding how to administer it.
Butler County Commissioner Kevin Boozel voiced concerns that the specific substance the inmates will be instructed to wash with could cause a reaction- even anaphylactic shock- in some people.
“What are the safeguards to make sure someone doesn’t get this treatment that shouldn’t?,” Boozel asked.
The commissioner said he isn’t aware of any cases statewide involving an inmate having an adverse reaction, but was reading about the risks when researching the specific substance.
Butler County commissioners Leslie Osche and Kim Geyer agreed certain procedures should be put in place regarding administration, but noted the county has an obligation to do it all it can to prevent the spread of infection and protect the prison staff.
“We must provide safe working conditions and protect our facilities,” Geyer said Wednesday. “Infections can last for months and they’re difficult to eradicate after they’ve start to spread. We need to ensure the taxpayers that we’ve taken precautions. It’s a delicate balance.”
Neighboring Mercer County has used this same system in their prison for the past five years and it has greatly decreased the spread of infection, according to officials.
The Butler County Prison Board recommended implementing this procedure at their meeting earlier this week.