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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73133 Find in a Library
Title: Prison Health Care - Part of the Punishment
Journal: New Physician  Volume:25  Issue:4  Dated:(April 1976)  Pages:29-35
Author(s): C Coste; T Taylor
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Noting that there are no laws that specifically require corrections facilities to provide medical care for inmates, this article examines shortfalls in prisons' provision of medical services, and problems involved in provision, with particular reference to the State Prison of Southern Michigan (Jackson State prison).
Abstract: The quality of health service in the country's prisons and jails is abysmally low. A 1972 study by the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association found that nearly 17 percent of the jails surveyed had no medical facilities; 31 percent had no arrangements by which a prisoner could see a doctor; and only 38 percent had doctors available on a regularly scheduled basis. A 1975 LEAA study and a New York State Commission report both highlighted the problems of sick calls--where patients may wait in line to receive as little as a few seconds of the physician's time. At Jackson State, specific inmate complaints about health services include deteriorating health facilities and long waits for emergency care in the case of beatings or stabbings. Many inmates complain of an inability to obtain needed medication since doctors are reluctant to prescribe medicine if there is a risk of contributing to inmate drug abuse. Specific prison reforms are being discussed by some prison officials. Among these are operating health facilities built outside prison walls, separating health funds from those for other services, contracting services out to medical resources in the community, developing national prison health care standards, and inspecting and licensing of all jail and prison health facilities. Two inserted articles describe prison health care conditions at the Jackson State Prison of Southern Michigan and a successful jail health care program at the Washentaw County Jail, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Index Term(s): Medical and dental services; Michigan; Prisoner's rights; Right to treatment
Note: Also includes 'The Prisoner as Patient - One Inmate's View' and 'Rx for Jail Health Services - Moonlighting Housestaff'
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