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Medical Costs For Prisoners In The Correctional System - Essay Example

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Medical costs for prisoners in the correctional system Name School Subject Professor Date Medical costs for prisoners in the correctional system Part 1 Today, as the costs of healthcare are every rising, so are the costs of providing medical care for prisoners in correctional facilities…
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Medical Costs For Prisoners In The Correctional System
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Download file to see previous pages Currently, about 10% of the correctional budgets are actually set aside for healthcare and this would amount $3 billion every year (Kaplan, 1999). The largest prison network in the contrary spends about $8000 for elderly inmates and about $1000 for younger inmates. The largest number of sick elderly inmates is lodged in the Men’s State Prison in Georgia (Chen, 2009). With the problems of the inmates only increasing every year, it is becoming very difficult to sustain the healthcare of inmates. For example, a greater population of inmates is increasingly suffering from chronic diseases, HIV/AIDS, getting older with serious health problems, hepatitis, terminal illnesses, and other problems (Kaplan, 1999). In the last 10 years, the population of prisoners has doubled and the number of women inmates has increased from 4 to 6 & (according to the Bureau of Justice). The number of prisoners above the age of 50 will increase from 11.7% to 16% in 2005. According to the Bureau of Justice the percentage of prison population above the age of 55 years arose from 49000 in 1999 to 90000 in 2007. Recently a few health problems have been noted to have a serious impact on the health of the inmates. Some of the common terminal conditions that can affect inmates include cancer (Kinsella, 2004). The most common infectious disease noted in prisoners is Hepatitis C, which affects about 33% of the inmates in Texas, and 41% in California. The most common mean of spreading Hepatitis C in prisons is through contaminated blood or IV drug use with contaminated needles. $24000 to $30000 is spent each year on treatment for Hepatitis B. About 10% of the inmates are mentally ill (Kaplan, 1999), however recent figures suggest the figures could be as high as 16%. There were just very few prisons that were providing mental health facilities to the prisoners. Small percent actually receive mental treatment programs and an even smaller group receives medication to treat the condition (Kinsella, 2004). Communicable diseases may not only be a problem for inmates when they are in the prisons, but also when they are released. About 2.5 to 4.5 % of all the inmates are affected with an STD. It costs about $475 to treat the STD’s. 2.2% of the inmates have HIV infection and about 0.6% have AIDS. The prevalence of the condition is about 3 to 4 times higher than the general population. About $195000 is spending each year for the HIV management of inmates (Kinsella, 2004). Several cost-saving measures can be initiated as an effort to lower costs in prisons. These include privatization of the healthcare services, having disease prevention and health promotion programs, inmates co-sharing healthcare costs with the government (copayments), using telemedicine facilities, and early release of those inmates who are sick, terminally ill, or very old. Prisons need to develop better healthcare policies in order to handle the crisis of rising healthcare costs, using greater innovation (Kinsella, 2004). The other measures that have been suggested include reduction the costs of drugs, provision of healthcare services under managed care, etc (Kinsella, 2004) Part 2 I have chosen to study the HIV/AIDS populations that are imprisoned in Rhode Island, though I would compare it with other prisons in the US. I have chosen this because, the problem of HIV/AIDS is serious in prisons, and the model obtained from a few prisons are so good that they should be a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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