HCS / 430
March 18, 2013
Professor Vanessa Williams
Regulatory Agency: Federal Bureau of Prisons
Health care is defined as the maintaining and restoration of health by the treatment and prevention of disease especially by trained and licensed professionals in medicine, dentistry, clinical psychology, and public health (Merriam-Webster, 2013). Health care is important to every population even those who are incarcerated. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is responsible for not only the safe, humane, and secure confinement of prisoners but for the health care of inmates who are incarcerated in Bureau facilities in the United States. The Bureau’s professional staff provides essential medical, dental, and mental health services in a manner that is consistent with accepted community standards of health care in a correctional environment (BOP, n.d.). The Bureau only uses licensed and accredited health care providers in its ambulatory care unites, which care supported by community consultants and specialists (BOP, n.d.). The health of inmates is taken very seriously by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and their role in this process is vital to the health care that is provided to prisoners.
The Federal Bureau of Prison’s plays a major role in the regulation of health care in Federal Correctional Institutions, United States Penitentiaries, and Federal Prison Camps. There is a health services division that is responsible for medical, dental, and mental health services that is provided to federal inmates in Bureau facilities, including health care delivery, infections disease management, and medical designations (BOP, n.d.). Medical services are provided by a variety of health care professionals, including psychiatrists, physicians, nurses, physician assistants, dieticians, dentists, and pharmacists (U.S. Department of Justice, 2008). The health care division is also responsible for coordinating the Federal Bureau of Prison’s Safety Program, which ensures a safe, healthy environment for both staff and inmates of federal prison facilities (BOP, n.d.). The Bureau of Prisons provides health care services to inmates primarily through: in-house medical providers employed by the BOOP or assigned to the BOP from the Public Health Service, and from contracted medical providers who provide either comprehensive care or individual services (US Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Audit Division, 2008). Not only is the Federal Bureau of Prisons responsible for the actual delivery of health care to inmates they are responsible for the cost, provision of services rendered, and preventative care for inmates.
When housing an offender, the Bureau of Prisons takes into consideration the offender’s health status. Due to the extensive medical services the Bureau of Prisons provides, a defendant’s medical condition generally will not preclude a sentence to Bureau of Prisons custody (U.S. Department of justice, 2008). An inmate’s health status is important to the BOP and not taken lightly.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons encourages inmates to stay healthy through counseling provided during examinations, education about the effects of medications, infectious disease prevention and education, and chronic care clinics for conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension in 114 different institutions (BOP, n.d). The Bureau not only promotes environmental health for the inmates but for the staff as well, they put major emphasis on a clean-air environment and the maintenance of safe conditions in inmate living and work areas (BOP, n.d.). The Bureau’s food service program also emphasizes on eating healthy with heart-healthy diets, nutrition education, and dietary counseling in conjunction with certain medical treatments (BOP, n.d.). Not only does the Bureau of Prisons encourage physical health but they also endorse mental health. They...