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Prison Healthcare Essay

In researching healthcare in the prison system there seemed to be a definite difference in the type of regulated health care being given or even offered to prisoners. Prisons have state and federal laws that they must abide by in delivering health care services to their inmates. Therefore this paper will discuss the Federal Bureau of Prisons which came about in 1930 and was put together to deliver compassionate and open-minded care for Federal prisoners. In addition, the BOP (Federal Bureau of Prisoners) was implemented to change the prison health care services to be able to offer a more professional type of care. The government agency being discussed in this paper is known as the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The BOP’s head office is located in Washington D.C. and is part of the U.S. Justice Department. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is held accountable for the operation and administration of the federal prison organization. The main reasoning behind the BOP is to deliver a neutral and sympathetic type of treatment for federal inmates in the United States penitentiary system. The BOP also provides inmates with any health care they may need in agreement with any Federal and State laws. The BOP is in charge of the protection and upkeep of roughly 200,000 centralized prisoners and is accountable for setting the standard for federal prisons dispersed through the U.S. The BOP starts out by deciding where a prisoner should be placed such as; what facility? The next thing BOP would then assess is the level of security needed for the prisoner and what type of counseling he or she may need while serving their time in prison? In addition to counseling services the prisoner will be assessed for any mental health issues at this time as well. After many of these types of questions are answered concerning the inmate the BOP will then assess what type of health care services the prisoner is in need of and too what degree they are needed. An example of this could be if a prisoner is in need of some type of Prison Health Care Agency 3

immediate surgery, then he or she would be put at the top priority level for care needed. These types of questions are quickly reviewed along with administration to determine where the inmate will need to serve his or her time. The reason for this statement is a prison’s inmate capacity along with the level of treatment able to be offered at a specific prison may influence a decision to place an offender at one location over another. According to the United States Department of Justice (2013), “the Federal Bureau of Prisons are responsible for confining federal offenders in prisons that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and secure” (Agencies). According to the Federal Bureau of Prison’s (2008), “as part of these duties, the BOP is able to control health care in prisons by being responsible for the delivery of medically necessary health care to inmates in accordance with applicable standards of care” (Executive Summary). The American Correctional Association has established nationwide principles connected to the safe, effective and professional operation of corrections facilities. These values are vital leaders in regards to the policies and procedures that defend the wellbeing and security of employees and inmates of the prison. These principles are frequently reviewed by a group looking over the standards. The amendments are grounded on decisions based by the court, practice sessions, and constitutional organizations. In order to comply with both federal and state laws, medical facilities or health care services must be provided at prisons and state-run correctional facilities. This type of task would require the combined efforts of several sections within the American Correctional Association which is primarily associated with the Administrative Services, Offender Operations, Support Services, and Health Services. In addition, things such as making financial arrangements for the construction and upkeep of medical facilities would fall to the obligation of Administrative Services and the Offender Prison Health Care Agency 4

Operations. In addition the Health Services at a prison are those responsible for the day to day procedures of the prison’s medical treatment centers.
To make sure that the health care being provided to prisoners is meeting a high level of quality the American Correctional Association has required and expects accreditation and certification from any agencies regarding the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. The NCCHC healthcare principles and standards are intended to assist things such as; prison healthcare clinics meet international and national standards of basic human rights. By November 29, 2007, the BOP had held 166,794 inmates in approximately 114 BOP prisons at 93 different sites (The Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2008). Also, throughout 2007 the Federal Bureau of Prisons was indebted around $736 million for health care being offered to prisoners in the United States. The Federal Bureau of Prisons continues to deliver health care services to prisoners chiefly by internal medicinal providers working by the BOP or allocated to the BOP from the Public Health Service, and ultimately constricted health care physicians which were the ones’ that delivered wide-ranging treatment or separate health care services offered for a single person (The Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2008). Then with adjusting or controlling the growing prices regarding health care and the various other services the Federal Bureau of Prisons executed resources that were intended to offer additional competent health care to prisoners. The Federal Bureau of Prisons exertions to get some type of control on health care in prisons began by learning the various steps a prisoner must go through before he or she is transferred or sent to their assigned penitentiary. To start off prisoners are sent to a prison established around the level of treatment that is needed by this particular inmate. According to the Federal Bureau of Prison’s (2008) “the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) initiated an Prison Health Care Agency 5

audit to determine whether the BOP was appropriately containing health care costs in the provision of necessary medical, dental, and mental health care services; as well as effectively administering its medical services contracts and effectively monitored its medical services providers” (Executive Summary). To make sure that federal and state laws are being followed regarding health care facilities being offered at penitentiaries as well as state-run correctional facilities. For something like this assignment to take place would entail the joint efforts of numerous
subdivisions inside the ADC, primarily Administrative Services, Offender Operations, Support Services, and Health Services. When it comes to planning and budgeting for the construction and maintenance of health care centers this is ultimately the obligation of the Administrative Services and Offender Operations. Therefore, the health care that is being provided to prisoners must be of a high quality and acceptable. In order to ensure that the quality of healthcare being provided to inmates is of a high quality and above criticism the ADC received certification from a self-governing agency to receive their accreditation which was the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). The healthcare standards that are in place by the NCCHC were envisioned to assist prisons with health care centers for their inmates as well as making sure to meet and follow the international and national principles regarding basic human rights. Inmates of all ages, race, color, creed and nationality are able to receive an equivalent standard level of treatment regarding ones’ health that is offered to the public that are not be held behind bars. According to Health Care in Prison (2013), “This general principle is outlined in Prison Service Order 3200, which states: The Prison Service in partnership with the NHS has a responsibility to ensure that prisoners have access to health services that are broadly equivalent Prison Health Care Agency 6

to those the general public receives from the NHS” (What Healthcare Services is Prisoners Entitled to). This means that prisons already provide health education, patient education, prevention and other health promotion interventions in that general context.” In addition, it is a requirement that each and every prisoner be able to find the penitentiaries’ policy statement regarding the health care services that are offered. In this policy statement it must be able to be viewed in a noticeable spot that is in an accessible location for all inmates. The policy statement must explain in detail what specific primary care, dental and specialist clinical services are available to prisoners, along with who is responsible for providing them (Health Care in Prison, 2013). All prisons must provide the policy statement to any prisoner who requests this information regarding the health care services available to them within a particular time frame.

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Chen, S. (2009, November). Prison health-care costs rise as inmates grow older and sicker. CNN Justice, (), 1-3. Retrieved from http://articles.cnn.com/2009-11- 13/justice/aging.inmates_1_prison-inmate-largest-prison-systems-medical-costs? Health care in prison. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.aidsmap.com/Health-care-in- prison/page/1503575/

The Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2008). Retrieved from
The United States Department of Justice. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/ag/

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