Caring for the Elderly After Prison

What happens to an elderly inmate when they are released? Would it be beneficial to release more elderly inmates back into the community? The American population in general is becoming older, and correctional facilities are no exception to this. These inmates can place an exception burden on facilities and governments responsible for their care. Conditions for the elderly and infirm are often extra challenging when they are kept in prison. Due to limited space, resources, and equipment, they are not easily made comfortable. Most prisons were not made with accommodating those who have difficult walking in mind. It is estimated that older prisoners are two to three times more expensive to care for than younger ones. And while incarcerated, inmates are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare for treatment inside the facility. Correctional health providers know how costly in time and dollars it can be to take care of elderly inmates. Releasing them to live out their days in the community provides a better general outcome. Increased usage of compassionate releases can help realize this. No matter what, it is an issue that will need more and more attention as populations...

The Dangerous World of Prison Weaponry

As any medical provider in a correctional environment can attest to, there are unfortunate lengths inmates will go to craft weapons they can use against other inmates, officers, or even health care staff. Annually, thousands of correctional workers are injured by these weapons. Inmates may claim that the weapons are only for defensive purposes, but obviously, that’s often not the case and it’s a circular argument anyway, as the weapons in that case create the need for more weapons. And obviously due to the nature of the mindsets of the incarcerated, they may be more willing to use these weapons than most people. Medical equipment itself has been fashioned into weaponry, which means medical staff must be vigilant in ensuring inmates do not access items. And there is also the risk of so called “weapons of opportunity,” objects within reach that can be used to cause harm. Reducing potential for harm from both inmate-on-inmate and inmate-on-staff attacks makes the medical department’s job more...

Solitary Confinement and the Mentally Ill

According to several studies, the mentally ill suffer more from solitary confinement than the non-mentally ill prisoner. Also, when compared to the rest of the inmate population, the mentally ill are more likely to end up in solitary confinement, thus creating the potential for a cyclical effect. Research has found that diagnosed mentally ill inmates have higher suicide rates and rates of self-harm when they are exposed to the conditions of solitary confinement. Also there is the complication of delivering care to a patient who is being kept in isolation via confinement. It is simply more difficult for a care giver to access the person on an effective level. It should be noted, however, there is not a consensus on the matter. Other researchers claim that the studies were poorly constructed and performed, and more study is needed before reaching a conclusion on the effects of solitary confinement on the mentally ill in correctional...