LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Metro Corrections is getting buried under medical bills.

Director Mark Bolton told the Metro Council that inmates are getting older and staying longer, straining his already tight budget. 

Metro Corrections spent nearly $7.5 million in inmate healthcare last year, with almost $1 million of that going to pharmacy costs. Bolton also said hospital stays jumped nearly 50 percent since last year.

"Right now, we have 250 individuals in custody that are over the age of 50, back that down 5 years to 45, it's about 450 individuals," Bolton said. "What we're seeing with that population are higher levels of chronic illness, hypertension, upper respiratory issues, diabetes is off the chart ..."

Bolton said his officers are running nearly 50 inmates to the ER every month. On any given day that means five to eight officers are stationed at the hospital guarding inmates. 

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