Health and Health Care in the Nation's Prisons: Issues, Challenges and Policies.

Author:Sloan, Beverly
Position:Book review

Health and Health Care in the Nation's Prisons: Issues, Challenges and Policies, by Melvin Delgado and Denise Humm-Delgado, Lanham, Md., Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, 2008, 310 pp.

Health care in the correctional setting has always presented a serious concern for those in corrections. There has been an ongoing debate about the level of health care incarcerated individuals should receive at the expense of the taxpayers, especially when many in the general population cannot afford any at all. Health and Health Care in the Nation's Prisons, by Melvin Delgado and Denise Humm-Delgado, addresses this concern by focusing on correctional health care as a public health issue. The book presents a thorough discussion regarding the concerns among health care professionals within the correctional setting about the quality of health care given to the incarcerated population. It looks at health care from the eyes of both public safety and public health, and provides up-to-date references regarding correctional health care research. It gives recommendations on how to develop and implement programs to address the needs of elderly, female, mentally ill, physically disabled, aging and dying offenders, as well as those with HIV/AIDS and in acute care, long-term care and hospice care.

The book gives an overview of the demographics, policies and ethical considerations, as well as the financial concerns of the field. It offers recommendations for structure and delivery of health care. In addition, it provides an historical overview of ethical dilemmas that exist within the correctional setting in regard to health care. Throughout the book there is an underlying theme of the need for a multifaceted approach to correctional health care, which includes not only those in the health care profession but also security and the public itself. It includes case studies regarding such populations as the elderly, females and the mentally ill. There is a discussion regarding the importance of prevalence, early detection and treatment of various illnesses, including hepatitis, tuberculosis, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease and mental illness. The book also examines hospice care and care that addresses the needs of the elderly population.

In addition to the various...

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