Cobb County Sheriff intentionally arrests terminally ill homeless man for healthcare, and others face similar situations

Every day, numerous inmates make their way to the Cobb County infirmary for reasons beyond routine checkups.

Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens expressed his concern about the state of local jails, stating that they have essentially become the primary providers of healthcare and mental health services.

A 68-year-old homeless man with terminal cancer made the decision to get arrested in order to access healthcare, as reported by the Sheriff’s office.

According to Owens, he committed another crime in order to be placed back in the facility and receive the necessary treatment.

Last month, a man passed away at a nearby hospital. The authorities have not disclosed his identity as they are waiting to inform his next of kin.

According to Sheriff Owens, healthcare-related arrests have occurred before.

“They don’t have any money or job. Where else can I go to receive free healthcare? Where else can I find healing?” Owens pondered.

According to Dr. Edward Valentin with HOPE Atlanta, surviving cancer often involves making trade-offs and sacrificing a certain degree of freedom.

Dr. Valentin is dedicated to providing medical assistance to homeless individuals in Atlanta. One organization that plays a crucial role in delivering care to those in need is Hope Atlanta. According to the doctor, many unhoused individuals are in a state of survival and often resort to desperate measures to access healthcare.

“It’s a significant financial commitment and a substantial project, but it’s the right course of action,” Owens expressed.

Jails have a legal obligation to provide healthcare to inmates, which ultimately costs taxpayers millions of dollars across the metro area.

In Cobb County, every inmate undergoes a comprehensive physical examination within 14 days. The jail employs full-time doctors and nurses who are readily available to provide medical care. Additionally, dentists visit the facility three times a week to attend to dental needs. The county is committed to ensuring that inmates receive necessary healthcare services and covers the associated costs.

Owens believes that it is the responsibility of the government, whether at the state or federal level, to find a solution to offer healthcare to those in need without them having to resort to illegal activities.

Owens expressed that their facility was not intended to serve as a healthcare facility, but rather as a detention facility.

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MBS Staff
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