• THE PRISONER DILEMMA: A BIOETHICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE OF INCARCERATED POPULATIONS

      Rocco, Providenza Loera (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      Correctional populations account for about 2% of persons in the United States, who have a unique right to health care guaranteed by the Constitution per court decisions. However, the quality and breadth of this care is not standardized, and incarceration itself creates risk factors for one’s health. A review of the literature was done to evaluate the health and access to care of prison populations. Prison populations are largely minorities from poor neighborhoods with low socioeconomic status who usually have limited engagement with health services prior to incarceration; there is a large amount of morbidity of chronic diseases in prisons, and prisoners are at increased risk for communicable diseases, substance abuse and mental illness. Former inmates are also at increased risk of death following release. While advances such as telemedicine help to bridge the gaps in correctional health, more research needs to be done to assess the needs of this population, and more education and linkage to care should be accomplished to do right by these populations and ensure they get the care they need. This will in turn lead to better health outcomes in this population and may have a beneficial effect on the communities from which these prisoners come.