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Healthcare in Prisons: Changes in Healthcare Meted Out to Prisoners

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The purpose of writing this paper is to show the cruel and unusual treatment which is meted out to prisoners in jail. There are many factors which contribute to such a phenomenon and there are ways to rectify it, which is shown in the paper. The attitude of the physicians and staff have to be in such a way that they treat the inmates with patience and sympathy and try to mould him into a person valuable to the society. Since prison is their second home, the inmates have to be offered a supportive and conducive environment so that they do not get depressed or get into some serious mental problems. Hence, it is the duty of the jail authorities and the healthcare providers to ensure that such things do not occur. “Why Prisoners Deserve Health Care. AMA Journal of Ethics”, “Prisoners' Rights to Physical and Mental Health Care: A Modern Expansion of the Eight Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause”, are the references which. throw light on this topic.


A rule in the 1976 Supreme Court made it a right stating that an absence of health care in prisons would be treated as a cruel and unusual punishment and would be inferred as going against the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. The failure to provide this right would lead to the conduct of legal proceedings against the individual. Social cause is as well a reason for providing healthcare to prisoners, in the sense that they should not transmit their disease to other persons if it is infectious and as well not be a burden to society (Joseph E. 2008). Health care has to be provided free of charge, the prisoners should be educated about taking proper care of their health and maintaining a fit body, prompt treatment has to be ensured in case of any disease and many other such reforms. (Hernán Reyes.2001).

Aims to be Achieved In Prisoner Healthcare Management

The purpose of writing this paper is to depict the health care discrepancies meted out to the prisoners and the steps take to improvise on this. The overall view is that prisoners should be treated well in prisons as they do not have access to the outside world. Hence, their cost of treatment has to be borne by the government. Equal and fair access to treatment has to be granted to all the inmates so that they are fit for society once they are released. Many prisoners are not able to afford the high cost of treatment as they are poor and the wages that they are paid in jail is insufficient. Therefore, they are unable to take insurance and have to depend on their family for obtaining the money. This is due to the fact that they are unemployed and are lodged in prison. Hence, all these measures have to be corrected to ensure that there is no injustice done towards them.

Reasons For Healthcare In Prisons:

Some prisoners have serious diseases so they have to be administered proper healthcare as otherwise they might transmit their disease to others when they are released. Secondly, most of the jail inmates are poor and uneducated without any proper employment. Therefore, they must be provided with nutritious food and proper health care. The government should ensure that the prisoners are not denied their rights and there is no disparity in the treatment administered to them (Stefan Enggist.et.al.2014).The Supreme Court in the year 1976 proclaimed that if healthcare was not provided to the prisoners according to the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution then the authorities would have to face punishment. Hence, this was a De facto right for all the inmates of the prison. Another theory “deliberate indifference” defines clearly that prisoners should not be neglected when they are in need of medical care and they should be referred to a medical professional as soon as possible. Jail inmates do not have the choice of taking insurance or paying on their own. Hence, it is the duty of the government to pay for their expenses. Prisoners have to be provided with specialized medical care when they have diseases like Hepatitis, HIV, TB etc. and should not be neglected (Joseph E. 2008).


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