Examining American Prisoners and their health Essay Example
Examining American Prisoners and their health Essay Example

Examining American Prisoners and their health Essay Example

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  • Published: August 10, 2017
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Critical Medical Anthropology ; takes a expression at America s Prison population. Prisoners within our American Criminal Justice System are in critical demand of better attention. Medical Anthropology a survey that applies anthropological theory and methods to surveies of wellness, disease, and mending frequently applies theory to work out jobs. The survey of wellness, disease, and mending strives to help people in demand.

I focused on infective diseases ; wellness attention and wellness disparities and touch on structural force in our America s Prison population. My end was to derive acquaintance with the wellness concerns of captives and their households. This field is surely good suited for using theory to work out jobs the wellness, and mending endeavoring to assistance people in demand in greatly needed in our Prison system. My position and Medical Anthropology s constructs are both used to derive improved apprehension of wellness, unwellness and healing.

The inequalities found in our American Criminal Justice system are non new neither are they alone to this establishment. The universe has frequently been a competitory and sometimes barbarous topographic point. Indeed species have been contending for their mere endurance. Human s existences have been fighting, and contending for so called scarce resources for 1000s of old ages. The push from social forces has drove people s behavior frequently times developing into greed. This helped to take to our current capitalistic society. The crisis of inequality doesn T give a clear image without looking into existent universe atrociousnesss. The American Prison System is a great survey of societal control and its consequence on people an


d their wellness.


It is every bit of import to understanding healthcare worldwide, as it is in our ain community. Those incarcerated in our prisons are held in conditions that are unhealthy. What does this hold to make with the wellness attention system of America? The conditions within our Criminal Justice System are ideal for the development of several mental issues including depression and PTSD. Furthermore these Prisons are considered a critical societal vector for infective diseases such as the transmittal of TB and these inmates besides receive hapless health care. The unequal attention received by inmates constitutes inhumaneness.


I researched this from a Critical Medical Anthropology position. I studied this from a double method utilizing both academic research and interviews. My focal point was on inmate wellness concerns. The degree of analysis was the Social structural position. The impression of restraint was used as an implicit in rule. I conducted several interviews with two local work forces. These interviews included inquiries about their experiences, beliefs and wellness ; organizing a kind of short life history, included. These instance surveies focused on the male gender, poorness and wellness. These instance surveies are direct illustrations of merely how the prison system affects persons wellness, well-being and life s opportunities.

No 1 would reason that our prison systems are perfect. Healthcare is independently missing within our American prison system. This is compounded by a alone civilization of maltreatment, hatred, and force ; which exist within the walls of our American Prisons ( Dyer, p.13 ) . The life of detainees is non an easy

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one and it is decidedly non intended to be. Serving Time is non remaining at the Holiday Inn and it shouldn t be. However people everyplace deserve equal human rights and self-respect. The maltreatment and force that frequently clip s strains hatred is non the map of our American Justice system. These negative facets have atrocious effects which are compounded by the wellness conditions within the prison, set these inmates at an increased hazards for new medical jobs, every bit good as magnifying any medical jobs they may already be confronting. More prudent so all of this is the fact that they are besides at an increased hazards for several life endangering unwellnesss.

It is my place that Inmates are people, and these people are meriting of equal intervention. The most basic and cardinal demands ought to be provided for. The most basic protections need to be in topographic point. Yet, health and wellness attention are non efficaciously managed and in many instances are independently missing in the American prison system.

What is it about these prison walls that create such confusion in medical intervention? Is it the environment? Is it the alone civilization within the walls of our American Prisons ( Dyer, p.13, 2000 ) or the position of our legislators? What is the cause of these disparities? I ponder eventually, can these jobs be fixed?

Back ground/ History ; the positions of our legislator s changes our Torahs.

? 1960 s America undergoes great alteration ; The Civil Rights Motion!

? 1970 s Beginning of a new epoch,

? 1980 s Prison-expansion, War on Drugs.

? 1990 s Private-prison emerges, Money to be made.

The American Criminal Justice system has undergone dramatic transmutation. This has been basically driven by harsher condemning Torahs such as the three-strikes, and truth-in-sentencing ( Reiman, P, 140, 1995 ) . The justness system makes determinations harmonizing to Samuel Walker that doesn T ever make sense in his book Sense and Non Sense about Crime and Drugs he explores this. These determinations include policies that led to the lessening and near obliteration of community-service and substance-abuse plans for nonviolent wrongdoers. These factors both have logically led to greater Numberss of people being incarcerated in prison. This addition in population led to a private prison constructing detonation ( Dyer, p.4, 2000 ) . This functioned as a new profitable manner to suppress the minority and the hapless. Greater net incomes for the shareholders who now own prison companies ( Dyer, p. 24, 2000 ) . This meant that more people were being incarcerated even though the offense rate was non lifting. Rather it was people s position of offense, which had created a false since of fright of offense ( Dyer, p.88, 2000 ) . This has helped to go through statute law aimed at increasing the figure of those incarcerated.

The involvement in the private prison began in the early 1990 s this emergent s was

an enlargement motivated by money. What do all of these companies have in common?

They are all mega corporations doing money from prisons via contracts to provide prisons with their merchandises. These inmates function as Captive consumers harmonizing to

Dyer in The Perpetual Prison machine ( Dyer, 2000 p.14 ) .

Peoples developed this false since of fright of offense ( Mander,1978 ) in Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, America has become the first civilization to hold substituted secondary, mediated versions of experience for direct experience of the universe. Interpretations and representations of the universe were being accepted as experience, taking them to back up tough on offense statute law without an existent addition in offense.

Conditionss that are unhealthy

Those incarcerated in our prisons are held in conditions that are unhealthy.

These conditions are ideal for the development of several mental issues including depression and PTSD. The causes of hapless captive wellness are a consequence of many factors. One chief fact harmonizing to WHO is that ;

Prison populations contain an overrepresentation of members of the most marginalized groups in society: people with hapless wellness and chronic, untreated conditions, drug users, the vulnerable and those who engage in hazardous activities such as shooting drugs and commercial sex work. ( WHO Europe, 2003 ) .

Health disparities are merchandises of societal inequalities these include ;

poorness, favoritism, and unequal entree to good health care. Compounded by factors such as less secure and stable community, or populating conditions. There is even less control, stableness, security in mundane activities. Furthermore

prisons are considered a critical societal vector for infective diseases such as the transmittal of TB.


There decidedly is a relationship between captivity and the spread of TB. There is an unmistakable correlativity. Prisons function as critical societal vector for TB due to three facets of the prison environment. The first is a higher effectual contact rate a consequence of the close propinquity of people in big Numberss. The 2nd is the highly hapless airing in these installations in combination with the fact that the incarcerated are at that place for extended periods of clip. This is farther effected by extra factors including reduced remedy rate: delayed diagnosing, troubles placing along with insulating inmates for intervention. Furthermore these inmates are at greater population susceptibleness because of farther hazards factors such as poorness, substance maltreatment, old life styles picks ( Stuckler, Basu, McKee and King, p.1, 2008 ) go forthing them at a increased hazards.

This job is non confined within American prisons. The World Health Organization s ( WHO s ) found that captives in certain parts of Europe were 84 times more likely to hold TB, so free civilians. In add-on there is besides a common job to often neglect to follow up with septic inmates, one time they are release from prison. Therefore imprisonment is likely a driver of the TB epidemics ( Stuckler, Basu, McKee and King, p.2, 2008 ) .

Terbium is an infective disease

Terbium is caused by the bacteria, Mycobacterium TB. Terbium can impact any organ of the organic structure most normally assailing the lungs. Terbium is spread through the air by droplets produced by a individual enduring from pneumonic Terbium by coughing, sneezing or speech production.

Prisons can surely be engendering evidences for infective diseases. The conditions normally associated with imprisonment such as overcrowded, drawn-out parturiency within closed, ill lit, severely heated and ill ventilated

sometimes humid infinites are all ideal for the development of assorted disease. These dismaying conditions contribute to the spread of disease and ill-health and when combined with deficient hygiene, unequal nutrition and limited entree to quality wellness attention, prisons can stand for a major public wellness challenge ( World Medical Association, 2000 ) .

The environment of prison along with the crumpling urban countries of big metropoliss frequently resembles a War Zone consequence people s position of their lives opportunities. This is true and can easy been seen within the undermentioned instance surveies.

Two instance Surveies

I interviewed two Afro-american work forces in their mid-thirtiess. I asked them inquiries refering their lives, offenses, and positions. Both of these work forces have been convicted of multiple felonies. Both were born in the metropolis of Fort Wayne, Indiana. They besides have both been late released. I will be mentioning to these work forces by Em and Dee these are assumed names used in topographic point of their existent names.

Case Study one Em Felon Age 34 Race Afro-american

My experiences behind bars was a awful one. Sleeping at dark was hard. Noises were an every dark obstruction. Missing my freedom and my household made it difficult to kip. Narratives of other captives being assaulted made me feel like I was ever on qui vive. Got ta watch your dorsum in here at all times ( Em November, 22, 2010 ) .

Em is an intelligent 34 twelvemonth old Afro-american adult male. His life narrative is a narrative of victory over hardship. The deficiency of resources available to him do his life therefore far a challenge at best. The battles that Em had to get the better of to last included a unsmooth childhood. As the oldest boy born to a individual female parent with four kids, populating on the Southside of Fort Wayne, Indiana Em found himself responsible for the household from a really immature age. Quite un-stereotypic of a criminal, was one reaction I had when I spoke with him. His experiences include maltreatment, hungriness, favoritism these are all traumatic events holding this as 1s childhood experiences does non precisely fix them for society. Being born a black adult male in 1976 was a clip in our state when America was merely get downing to grip the new state of affairs that it found itself within. America was now a new modern society that was delegated to stop the old policies of racial favoritism.

Health ; he admitted experiencing Angry about results of his life s picks.

Reported ; holding been ill in prison on legion occasions. He attributed this to sources and crud.

Case Study two Dee Felon Age 33 Race Afro-american

Prison life was non what I had expected. When I was small I thought possibly I would be a physician or a fireman or something. It merely didn t work out ( Dee November, 22, 2010 ) like that.

Dee besides is an intelligent 33 twelvemonth old Afro-american adult male. His life narrative hasn T ever been fun but it been existent to cite him from the first interview I conducted with him. His narrative is one of great

hurting and great joy. Surely he would state of great hope Dee is a really optimistic adult male his life has strengthened his religion. His success over hardship includes his ability to get the better of issues with depression. The deficiency of resources available to him made everyday a confrontation with life. The secret about these two work forces is that they are brother. No non in their African american vernacular englishs since of the word, in the actual significance they have the same female parent and male parent, therefore, they portion several of the same life experiences.

Health ; he admitted experiencing depressed during his captivity. Reported holding been sickened in prison on several occasions what he believed to be nutrient toxic condition.

These work forces recalled feelings of hopelessness. Possibly the fact that the environment of the crumpling urban countries typically the south side of big metropoliss, frequently resembles a War Zone consequence people s position of their lives opportunities. This negative stimulation restraints the head making a mental concatenation that is capable of suppressing people. Therefore, the impact of this resembles a War Zone. Just as Soldiers are at increased hazards for PTSD and depression so are captives and those perceived as felons including those whom have served their clip yet, still carry the stigma of being criminals.

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There is no deficiency of options outside of prison which can be illustrated by the big per centum of Americans in gaol, word and on probation.

There a alone civilization within the walls of our American Prisons

The establishment is doubtless a dehumanizing system, one that treats people as felons meriting of small to no compassion. Healthcare is independently missing within our American prison system. There are several factors magnifying this job. The unequal attention received by inmates is inhumane. Peoples populating in prisons are incarcerated in some of the worst conditions. There are people infected with AIDS behind bars have small to no existent hope to have sufficient wellness attention.

Additional wellness jobs are a consequence of physical maltreatment. Often this maltreatment creates emphasis and has the possible to bring forth psychological perturbations. This emphasis is a consequence of many factors including ; captives being treated as slaves. Bing in prison is a wellness jeopardy: the wellness position of captives is by and large lower than the remainder of the population. - World Health Organization Europe, ( 2003 ) . Health jeopardies that includes the undermentioned maltreatments

Physical maltreatment

There is an economical force at work including what is referred to as a new Commodity called for a new bondage ( Dyer p.9, 2000 ) .The fact that captives are used as slaves doing merely.20 -1.20 an hr is distressing. This is a manner to capitalise on these people s bad luck.

Psychological maltreatment

The ambiance of the prison creates an ideal state of affairs for psychological maltreatment. These inmates are at an alarmingly increased hazard for PTSD and depression. These captives and those perceived as felons including those whom have served their clip yet, still carry the stigma of being criminals.

The inmates had hardly gotten off the coach when it started. They were

still handcuffed

and shackled as the guards that they had ne'er seen before that minute began to crush them. Harmonizing to studies by geting inmates, several captives were hog-tied and pepper sprayed -- the painful mixture shooting into their eyes as their new keepers pried them open to decline the consequence.

`` That 's so you boys retrieve you 're non in Colorado any longer, '' said one of the guards. `` You 're in Texas now. After their violent debut was over, the still-stunned captives were led into an aging warehouse that had one time been used to hive away mail. The edifice had been retrofitted with bars over the old storage bays to make rough cells. The inmates were massed 26 to a cell with small respect for captive categorization -- liquidators and rapers ( Dyer, p.199, 2000 ) .

Sexual maltreatment

The hideous retelling of colza ( Dyer, p.45, 2000 ) depicts an environment that is non suited for existent rehabilitation. Just the opposite these conditions are ideal for the development of several mental issues including depression and PTSD twists the heads ( , p.46 ) exemplifying the crisis degree conditions that are a mundane portion of the lives of 1000000s of Americas.


Centre for Prison Studies, London, 2006 ; World Prison Brief,

Work force and adult females are incarcerated in mass Numberss here in America and worldwide. The figure of adult females and misss in penal establishments is at an all clip high. Female imprisonment: largest female prison populations. A genuinely startling fact when compelled with the frequence of maltreatments and colza behind bars. Harmonizing to the World Health Organization ( 2002 a ) the Effects of Rape make Victims of sexual assault ; 3 times more likely to endure from depression.

6 times more likely to endure from post-traumatic emphasis upset.

13 times more likely to mistreat intoxicant.

26 times more likely to mistreat drugs.

4 times more likely to contemplate self-destruction. These are reeling statics, but more of import these are existent people.

Mental unwellness

Complex as it is frequently both a cause and a effect of imprisonment. The rates of ego injury and self-destruction are frequently higher among female than male captives. The rates for both are significantly higher than in the outside community ( Palmer, 2007 ) harmonizing to information found in the Particular demands for female captives in Health in Prisons: a WHO usher to the necessities in prison wellness, WHO, Geneva, from 2007. Information reiterated by the Prison Reform Trust, Women in prison frequently have a higher degree of mental wellness jobs than adult females in the general population Prison Reform Trust, Bromley Briefing, London, May 2007, ( p14 ) .


The sum of people enduring from depression is high within the prison system. The symptoms of Depression harmonizing to information found online at the NAMI website include ;

persistently sad or cranky temper ;

pronounced alterations in slumber, appetency and energy ;

trouble thought, concentrating and retrieving ;

physical deceleration or agitation ;

deficiency of involvement in or pleasance from activities that were one time enjoyed ;

feelings of guilt, ineptitude, hopelessness and emptiness ;

perennial ideas of decease or self-destruction ; and

relentless physical symptoms that do non react to

intervention such as concerns, digestive upsets and chronic hurting.

adult females have a higher rate of depression than work forces ( NAMI ) .

Degrees of mental wellness jobs in prisons besides appear to be on the rise. Recent US federal statistics revealed that the figure of captives with mental unwellnesss increased about four times in the old ages between 2000 and 2006 harmonizing to the Bureau of Justice Statistics ( 2006 ) . In fact now more than half of all prison and province inmates have reported mental wellness jobs. These jobs include symptoms of major depression, passion and psychotic upsets. Even with the stigma associated to mental illness the rates of reported illness amongst inmates are now up to five times greater than the general grownup population ( Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006 ) . That is at about epidemic degrees.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The symptoms of PTSD can change well by and large falling into three classs. These are defined by the experiences of the sick person.

Re-experience - Often experience recurrent and intrusive remembrances of and/or incubuss about the nerve-racking event. These sick persons experience flashbacks, hallucinations, or other graphic feelings of the event go oning once more are common. Others experience great psychological or physiological hurt when certain things including objects or state of affairss that remind them of the event.

Avoidance They tend to persistently avoid things that remind them of the traumatic event. This can ensue in the sick person avoiding everything from ideas, feelings, or conversations related with the incident to activities, topographic points, or people that cause them to remember the event. In others there may be a general deficiency of reactivity signaled by an inability to remember facets of the injury, a reduced involvement in once of import activities, a feeling of withdrawal from others, a limited scope of emotion, and/or feelings of hopelessness about the hereafter.

Increased arousal - Symptoms in this country may include trouble falling or remaining asleep, crossness or effusions of choler, trouble concentrating, going really watchful or alert, or jitteriness or/and being easy startled.


Entree to allow medical attention is needed in order to properly diagnose or dainty. To name there are several steps now available. One fast and simple manner of proving is known as the Short showing graduated table for DSM-IV post-traumatic emphasis upset ( Breslau, N. , Peterson, E.L. , Kessler, R.C. , Schultz, L.R, 1999 ) found in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Sample Items ; ? Did you avoid being reminded of this experience by remaining off from certain topographic points, people, or activities? ? After this experience were you holding more problem than usual falling asleep or remaining asleep?

Some surveies suggest that PTSD is reasonably common that anyplace between 2 per centum and 9 per centum of the population has had some grade of PTSD harmonizing to Freudenberg, Nicolas 2001 Jails & A ; Prisons and the Health of Urban Populations is at greater hazards. The chance of developing this upset is greater when person is exposed to multiple injury or traumatic events early in life and even greater if they have experienced both. In peculiar

if the injury occurs over a long term or repeated. It is of import to observe that more instances of this upset are found among inner-city young persons and people who have late emigrated from troubled states. Researchers Gibson, L. , Holt, J. , Fondacaro, K. , Tang, T. , Powell, T. , and Turbitt, E. in 1999 there is an highly high degree of PTSD in our prisons in An Examination of Antecedent Traumas and Psychiatric Comorbidity Among Male Inmates with PTSD they assert that this will take new solutions, new policy and new attacks. Another of import note is that adult females seem to develop PTSD more frequently than work forces.

Having taken a expression at all of these wellness concerns, along with cognizing that there is a great motivation behind the addition in prison population is societal control and economic sciences. Who is doing the money? Is every bit easy as looking into what and how do people do money off of captives? What do all of these companies have incommon?

These are all mega corporations doing money from prisons via contracts to hold inmates produce goods.This is a Captive labour force ( Dyer, p.19, 2000 ) . This requires prisons to remain full in order to prolong maximal net income borders. This is besides was a new manner to go on to suppress the minority. A group most frequently used and exploited for net income, i.e. a new bondage. Dyer suggests that this is that this was a new trade good ( Dyer, p. 9, 2000 ) . America 's prison population is being harvested from our turning Fieldss of urban poorness. Since these Fieldss are disproportionately composed of minority citizens, so excessively is the new prison population. By 1992, one out of every three black work forces in the United States between the ages of 20 and 29 was under the supervising of the criminal-justice system ( Dyer, p. 6, 2000 ) belly laugh.

Human rights in prisons are now get downing to be recognized. The belief that captives deserve Human Rights is deriving impulse. Health is surely an indispensable component of human rights in prisons. Bettering prison conditions and developing a positive prison environment can hold a important impact on the success of wellness intercessions within the community at big. The solutions to these jobs of wellness and human rights are needed. Prison wellness is an built-in portion of public wellness, and bettering prison wellness is important for the

success of public wellness policies.

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In decision this undertaking has led me to the belief that this mass captivity is inhumane and unfair. Our captives are our boies, male parents, neighbours and our friends. I propose that this turning captivity is unneeded. The health care of captives affects their households and our communities. Peoples should care! TB transmitted in prisons besides poses serious hazards. The imprisonment in disease filled installations drives up the figure of those infected with TB therefore spread outing the epidemics. These inmates are besides at hazard for other harmful infective disease. Furthermore captivity in our prisons poses a danger to inmate s mental

wellness and well-being. The inmates released from our prisons are enduring with mental unwellnesss such as depression and PTSD. I suggest that we do more to forestall people from come ining our condemnable Justice system, that we improve the conditions at these installations and that we.

The influence that America has is tremendous. Finding existent solutions to our jobs is highly of import. Constructing more prisons is non a solution it is a job. There are existent ways to work out our Criminal Justice Systems jobs. New techniques, innovate attacks many plans that use these tactics have been successful. One such illustration is Project Safe vicinity ( Klofas, Hippie, & A ; McGarrell ( p.103, 2010 ) it helped to construct community strength and engagement. Not more prisons.