A plan to implement in-house dental service at the St. Joseph County Jail moved a step closer to reality with the donation of $2,000 from a Fulton-area family.
Undersheriff Mark Lillywhite said the donation, made in memory of Bob Shook, a former jail chaplain, allowed the department to purchase almost all the equipment it needs to begin tooth-extraction service. The measure is currently contracted to a Centreville-area dentist off site and is the only procedure to be performed through in-house service.
Lillywhite said retired Sturgis dentist John Petruska also donated essential tools and hardware necessary for the service. Lillywhite said inmates who have a tooth extracted must have enough funds in their account to cover the cost, which is currently about $200 but will be about $125 when performed in-house.
Dentists from Colon and Mendon have agreed to provide their services on an as-needed basis.
Lilllywhite said he hopes to have the in-house service in place by March.