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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 219872 Find in a Library
Title: From Equivalence of Standards to Equivalence of Objectives: The Entitlement of Prisoners to Health Care Standards Higher Than Those Outside Prisons
Journal: International Journal of Prisoner Health  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:December 2006  Pages:269-280
Author(s): Rick Lines
Date Published: December 2006
Page Count: 12
Type: Guideline
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article argues that human rights obligations and public health needs require that inmates, who typically have a prevalence of serious health problems beyond those of the average citizen, will require health services that surpass those received by the average citizen.
Abstract: It is generally accepted that individuals in prison have a right to a standard of health care that is equivalent to that provided people outside prison. Given the extreme health problems evident among prisoners worldwide, however, along with the threat they pose to public health in general, inmates should receive a higher level of care in order to achieve the same health outcome as the average person outside prison. As one example, within prisons, the risk of the spread of tuberculosis (TB) is heightened by infectious and overcrowded prison conditions. Inadequate medical infrastructure or inconsistent access to medications heightens the risk of developing multidrug resistant strains of TB within prison populations. TB is only one example of health problems that are magnified within the prison environment. According to the World Health Organization, prisons are places where "two of the greatest public health problems facing all societies overlap: the epidemic of HIV/AIDS and the pandemic harmful use of psychotropic substances such as alcohol and illegal drugs." Changing the measure of inmate health care from equivalent standards of health care to standards that achieve equivalent objectives requires that health care rise to the level of addressing prison conditions that promote disease and inhibit the provision of effective treatment of the serious diseases prevalent in prisons. 49 references and appended legislation recommended for Ireland that will preserve the health of prisoners in "gaol" (jail or prison) and prevent "gaol distemper"
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): AIDS/HIV in correctional facilities; Communicable diseases; Foreign laws; Inmate health; Inmate health care; Ireland; Medical and dental services; Prisoner's rights; Tuberculosis
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