Inmate Medical Services Essay

941 Words 4 Pages
Implementing charges for inmate medical services negatively affects prisoners by, limiting inmate finances for basic needs, deterring inmates from seeking treatment, and inviting another avenue for segregation within prison walls.
The implemented charge for medical services would significantly limit the funding prisoners have for basic needs. Once imprisoned, a civilian no longer has the access to the luxuries of the free world. The civilian becomes an inmate. They are stripped of identity, secular relevance, and financial status. Inmates are processed into incarceration, and enter the prison system with basic clothing, toiletries, and a bed. In order to survive and maintain civility, many inmates participate in bartering commissary. Bartering
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Commissary items can include food, snacks, extra socks or underwear, bedding, stationary and toiletries. These items are purchased through funding an inmates family puts on the inmates account or books. Commissary items are a very big deal in prison, and can be hard to come by for an inmate that has no finances. For example, an inmate who has $20 a month may spend a total of $5 a month for clothing, $10 for toiletries, $2 for stationary to communicate outside prison walls, and has only $3 left for food or snacks. There is no money left for medical services that should be free. An inmate would have to sacrifice at least $5 of commissary items to have access to seek medical care. Alternatively, and inmate who has no commissary funding, often sells or barters routine meals, clothing, and issued toiletries to gain funding. If an inmate has no commissary funding, how are they supposed to pay for medical services when needed? The inmate could sell their meal trays for several days to gain commissary items, however this is not accepted …show more content…
Michelle Andrews describes how inmates who delay treatment for medical services due to being assessed a charge, may spread illness and communicable disease within the prison. When transitioning into the prison system, officials document health history and the inmates are given a physical. For inmates with chronic conditions that are maintained with routine injections or oral medications, visits to the prison nurse or physician may be frequent. For acute illnesses, the inmate should be assessed for contagion and treated accordingly. Now that medical services are no longer free, an inmate with the flu, strep throat or a stomach virus, may spread the illness to other inmates. The spread of illness would inevitably cause other inmates who lack funding to defer treatment, and further infect other inmates. On the other hand, an inmate with a chronic condition such as diabetes, hypertension, or bipolar disorder, may also put off routine visits. Lack of maintained therapy for chronic conditions could exacerbate the condition, resulting in worsened symptoms and could possibly lead to fatalities. This type of negligence is discouraged in the practice of preventive medicine, yet if an inmate declines medical care due to lack of finances, there is no one to educate them on the importance of health and wellness. Alternatively, inmates who are able to afford medical services could be treated for a communicable disease,

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