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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 44066 Find in a Library
Title: PRISON HEALTH SERVICES - ABORTED FROM THE MAINSTREAM - A CRITICAL REVIEW OF HEALTH SERVICE PROGRAMS FOR INMATES OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES
Author(s): J NEWPORT
Corporate Author: University of California, Los Angeles
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for Health Services Research
Rockville, MD
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Technical Information Service
Springfield, VA 22151
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Grant Number: HS 00874
Publication Number: REPORT NO HRP-0006705
Sale Source: National Technical Information Service
US Dept of Commerce
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22151
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF|PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DENIAL OF PRISONERS' RIGHTS TO HEALTH CARE BENEFITS PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE THROUGH PRIVATE INSURANCE, MEDICARE, AND MEDICAID MAY WELL BE IN VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.
Abstract: AT ANY ONE TIME, OVER 400,000 PRISONERS ARE INCARCERATED IN STATE AND FEDERAL PRISONS, LOCAL JAILS, AND JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITIES. DISADVANTAGED SOCIOECONOMIC CLASSES ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY REPRESENTED IN THE POPULATIONS OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES; OVER 40 PERCENT OF ALL JAIL INMATES ARE BLACK AND OVER 50 PERCENT HAD PREARREST INCOMES OF LESS THAN $3,000. REFLECTIVE OF THEIR DISADVANTAGED BACKGROUNDS, PRISONERS ARE MORE LIKELY THAN THE GENERAL POPULATION TO HARBOR UNDETECTED HEALTH PROBLEMS OF A SERIOUS NATURE. ALCOHOLICS, WHO SHOULD BE GIVEN MEDICAL TREATMENT RATHER THAN INCARCERATED, MAKE UP ONE-THIRD OF ALL ARRESTS. DESPITE THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, JAIL INMATES RARELY RECEIVE MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF ANY SORT, AND STATE PRISONERS MAY BE HELD FOR YEARS WITHOUT MEDICAL CARE. WHILE ENTRY TO CARE IS THROUGH SICK CALL, ACCESS TO SICK CALL IS OFTEN BARRED BY UNTRAINED GUARDS. A COMMON THEME RUNNING THROUGH STANDARDS FOR PRISON HEALTH CARE SERVICES DEVELOPED BY VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, INCLUDING THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION, IS THAT MEDICAL CARE PROVIDED FOR PRISONERS SHOULD BE EQUIVALENT TO 'MAINSTREAM' CARE IN BOTH QUALITY AND ACCESSIBILITY. IN CONTRAST TO THESE STANDARDS, HOWEVER, RECENT SURVEYS CONDUCTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION INDICATE THAT 49 PERCENT OF ALL LOCAL JAILS LACK EVEN BASIC PROVISIONS FOR FIRST AID, AND OVER THREE-FOURTHS OF ALL JAILS HAVE NO ARRANGEMENTS FOR REGULAR MEDICAL COVERAGE. A 1972 RULING DECLARED THAT FAILURE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE MEDICAL CARE IS A VIOLATION OF PRISONERS' CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS; THE FEDERAL PRISONERS HEALTH CARE PROGRAM WITH AN ANNUAL BUDGET OF $500 PER INMATE INDICATES THAT ADEQUATE PRISON HEALTH SERVICES CAN BE PROVIDED. IN SHORT, THE ABYSMAL STATE OF HEALTH SERVICES IN STATE PRISONS AND LOCAL JAILS REFLECTS LACK OF BOTH MOTIVATION AND RESOURCES. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; First aid; Jails; Medical and dental services; Prisoner's rights; State correctional facilities
Note: THIS ARTICLE IS A REVISED MANUSCRIPT BASED ON A PAPER PRESENTED AT THE 103RD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, NOVEMBER 20, 1975
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44066

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