People in prisons and jails are disproportionately likely to have chronic health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, and HIV, as well as substance use and mental health problems. Healthcare in prison, while a consistent challenge over the years, had an even more urgent focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The danger presented to prisoners was not merely the virus in close quarters but illuminated how underlying conditions present for years could be lethal when combined with the virus, turning increased attention to how prisoners are cared for while in custody.
Reflecting on the role of prison healthcare providers, this webinar featured experts who have provided care and managed the administration of medical services across prison systems. Speakers discussed the unique challenges of providing quality care in carceral settings, the importance of infrastructure supports like functional data systems, training for providers new to this setting, establishing standards of care, and changes that could be made to improve outcomes. The webinar aimed to share information with judges about limitations on adequate healthcare in prisons- a relevant factor when determining sentences, and opportunities for judicial reconsideration of sentences in light of changes in health conditions.
To watch this recorded panel, please visit here.