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Prisons in the United States Analysis


The whole aspect of medical facilities in prisons is a very complex issue that needs to be evaluated and looked at critically for sustainability. This therefore brings us to the issue of whether prisons in the US should continue to have their own medical facilities or be charged fees to take prisoners to a hospital. Prisons in the US have been having their own medical facilities to take care of prisoners’ health related issues and this has been going on for a while. In a broad perspective, federal medical centers handle inmates who require some specialized form of treatment as far as various diseases and health complications are concerned (Moore, 2009, p. 23). There has been an argument that US prisons are ill equipped to handle mental cases and this is acceptable as long as it can be given a good approach.

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It should be known that healthcare issues for prisoners are aspects that every prison needs to look at because they are in charge of these prisoners. Healthcare in prisons began to improve in the 1970s and this has been advancing as time goes by (Thompson, 2008, p. 17). As a matter of fact, mental illness is prevalent in most of these correctional facilities and this has been a matter of concern. There is a good development in prisons because the number of nurses and other health professionals in prison healthcare facilities is increasing and this is commendable (Moore, 2009, p. 32). As much as this number is increasing, it is still insufficient to take care of a large demand from prisoners. Wholesomely, as far as this paper is concerned, prisons in the US should continue to have their own medial facilities.


Prisons should continue to have their own medical facilities because of various reasons but this can be given a provision depending on the disease. This is because prison medical facilities might be incapacitated to treat and take care of complex diseases. As much as prisons are correctional facilities they have their own medical facilities relative to the population (Thompson, 2008, p. 34). In this case, prisons should not have a lot of inmates because they only need a manageable number. In a broad perspective, prisons should have good relations with other medical facilities because it is quite understandable that they can not handle all health problems.

Every prison has strived to have its own medical facility as much as there might be various constraints. This is based on various aspects that relate to prison issues that need to be evaluated. Prisons should continue to have their own medical facilities because of a well laid out healthcare delivery system. As a matter of fact, each facility has its own medical treatment considerations and a good environment that has continued to serve prisoners well (Slevin, 2006, p. 27). The only problem is that there should be some improvements in specific areas to make prison healthcare facilities better. This is because technology is changing and there are new developments in the healthcare sector that need to be integrated into their systems.

Prisons should continue to have their own medical facilities because of the prevailing conditions under which they operate. In this case, each prison has distinct circumstances that will always influence the way it carries out its health care issues and activities. Instead of being charged a fee to take prisoners to a healthcare facility, prisons should enhance their healthcare management system for long term sustainability (Moore, 2009, p. 21). This is because they are in a good capacity to take care of their patients needs through effective planning and frameworks. As a matter of fact, prisons should build linkages with other healthcare facility providers to take care of other diseases like mental illness and communicable diseases.

It is quite obvious that prisons can not take care of other chronic conditions and this is understandable though there should be measures to ensure that such complications are attended to. As much as prisons might be incapacitated to take care of complex health complications based on the resources at their disposal, they should implement preventative care and disease prevention processes where necessary to make their facilities more effective (Slevin, 2006, p. 38). This is because focus should be on managing chronic and acute complications that can end up being problematic. Some inmates serve long sentences and they should be taken care of because their general health is supposed to be understood.

This means that they are supposed to have long term disease management structures that will support the prisons facilities. As a matter of fact, they should address the patient’s education needs because some of these patients are ignorant on various aspects and this can help the prison instead of being forced to pay a fee. This is because some diseases can be curbed and prevented by informing patients on various healthcare aspects (Moore, 2009, p. 41). It therefore makes sense that prisons should continue having their own healthcare facilities because a prison is an institution. In this case, such institutions should be able to take care of their own needs without any problem.

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It does not argue well that prisons should be charged fees to take their prisoners to a hospital because they need to be cost effective. They can only be cost effective if they take care of various expenses like medical costs. This can be done through good planning and effective mechanisms. As a matter of fact, prisons should develop evidence based treatment recommendations for their inmates and patients for long term sustainability. Apart from collaborating with other healthcare facilities to take care of diseases that are beyond their capacity, they should relate well with other correctional partners because there are certain things that they need to share.

As much as one can not predict diseases or sickness, there should be an attempt to take care of such issues through prevention measures. There is an argument that prisons are mostly pre-occupied with their health issues at the expense of the population that they are dealing with and this an issue that needs to be addressed (Slevin, 2006, p. 34). As much as they can take prisoners to other healthcare facilities at a fee, they are in a better position to understand their inmates and it will be better if they are treated in the prisons healthcare facility.

There is no justification for prisons to be charged fees to take their prisoners to a hospital yet this is their responsibility. Should they do such a thing, they will be abdicating their duties and responsibilities. Wholesomely, prisons should ensure that they have the right number of medical staff that can take care of all inmates without any problem (Thompson, 2008, p. 53). This can be done by ensuring that the healthcare facility is allocated enough resources and supplies. In general, medical facilities should be organized through a good relationship with prisoners.

Reference list

Moore, S. (2009). Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid. New York: New York Times.

Slevin, P. (2006). U.S. Prison Study Faults System and the Public. Washington DC: The Washington Post.

Thompson, D. (2008). Prison Attacks Calling Attention to Overcrowding. New York: Associated Press.

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