Prison health care
Losing your freedom shouldn't mean losing your health, says Clare Shakespeare
- By: Clare Shakespeare
“The doors in here don't have handles,” said my guide as he led me in through the prison entrance, “my keys are like a portable door handle.” And indeed you can't get anywhere inside Dorchester prison without a set of keys—every door was locked behind me before the next was opened as I walked around. My visit to three of Dorset's men's prisons was an eye opening introduction to the constraints of prison health care. But at least I could go home at the end of the day.
Complete loss of freedom is the punishment intended when an offender is given a custodial sentence, but should inadequate health care also be part of the sentence? Absolutely not. According to the United Nations, prisoners should have access to equivalent health services available in the rest of a country without discrimination based on their legal situation.1 If properly used, the prison system