skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 241663     Find in a Library
  Title: Opportunities for Cost Savings in Corrections Without Sacrificing Service Quality: Inmate Health Care
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Phil Schaenman ; Elizabeth Davies ; Reed Jordan ; Reena Chakraborty
  Corporate Author: The Urban Institute
United States of America
  Date Published: 02/2013
  Page Count: 44
  Annotation: This report recommends ways to reduce inmate health care costs without sacrificing the quality of inmate health care, with attention to health practices in local jails and State and Federal prisons.
  Abstract: The first group of recommendations reduces the amount of medical care needed through preventive health care and a reduction in unnecessary medical visits. The second group of recommendations pertain to practices that reduce the health-care costs per inmate treated, such as providing more health care in-house in order to reduce transpiration and guard costs for visits to community hospitals. Five approaches are recommended for reducing inmates’ need for health care. First, screen inmates on intake and treat diseases and conditions. This prevents the spread of contagious diseases and reduces the severity of existing illnesses, thus reducing the treatment levels needed later. Second, conduct screening of requests for hospitalization and other health services. Third, require co-payments for medical visits. Fourth, allow inmates to directly purchase over-the-counter drugs. Fifth, provide court reminders for those arraigned but not yet jailed, so as to reduce unnecessary jail time. Five recommendations are offered for reducing health-care costs per inmate treated. First, expand the use of telemedicine (diagnosis and treatment recommendations via closed circuit television). Second, reduce the number of times when nurses dispense medications. Third, continue to identify less expensive yet effective medications for physical and mental ailments. Fourth, eliminate 24-hour services when not needed and fifth, base new health-care contracts, at least in part on inmate population size. The aforementioned recommendations were reviewed for their cost-savings potential; their impact on service quality; transferability; the impact on staff; and impact on the community (such as health and safety of citizens and effects on inmates’ families). The proposed policies were identified through Internet searches and discussions with experts in the field. 37 references and appended California Health Performance Metrics Dashboard
  Main Term(s): Corrections policies
  Index Term(s): Cost effectiveness analysis ; Corrections management ; Inmate health care ; Cutback management ; Prison management ; Corrections costs ; Jail management
  Sale Source: The Urban Institute
2100 M Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
United States of America
  Type: Technical Assistance
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.