Categories:  'Criminal Justice & Incarceration Society'  

Who’s Responsible for Paying for Prisoner Treatment?

Prisons don't have the funds or resources to provide adequate health care for detainees. Bryan Monnin at the Spokane County Jail had to wait 40 [...]

Prisons don’t have the funds or resources to provide adequate health care for detainees. Bryan Monnin at the Spokane County Jail had to wait 40 days between time of injury to day of surgery to take care of an elbow fracture when it should have been looked at as soon as possible. The county could not offer competitive enough salaries to draw additional nurses from local hospitals. Because of the workforce shortage, nurses often work long hours.

Even in situations where targeting the prisoner population is essential to improving public health, many people often wonder why prisoners should be prioritized. The most effective way to stop the spread of Hepatitis C, now a curable contagious disease, is to treat prisoners. However, the total cost to treat all the incarcerated people with HCV is an estimated $33 billion dollars, more than four times the total health spending by state prison systems. Prisoners have actually fought for an won the right to HCV treatment, but few have ever received the drug. The nature of prisons make it an ideal place to treat people, but in practice: where is the money going to come from?

 

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