After 8 deaths, Snohomish Co. to hire doctor for jail inmates

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - The Snohomish County sheriff says the county jail will soon hire a doctor to deal with inmates' medical needs.

Sheriff Ty Trenary said Tuesday that's one of several changes planned to improve medical treatment in the jail.

The Daily Herald reports that eight inmates have died since 2010 and at least two of those deaths involve pending legal claims.

The sheriff's plan also includes hiring more nurses and mental health professionals, moving from paper to electronic medical records, and more closely screening inmates before they're booked.

Under the current system, the newspaper says the jail has been covered by an often-understaffed team of registered and licensed practical nurses, with a doctor available by telephone if needed.

Trenary says the doctor would initially work three days a week beginning after Labor Day, but the sheriff hopes to make it a full-time position next year.