More than four decades have passed since Estelle v. Gamble, the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court ruling which held prisoners cannot be denied necessary medical care under the Eighth Amendment. But when cash-strapped state Departments of Corrections charge co-pays for health care provided to sick prisoners – who earn meager wages and are the least able to afford…

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Prison food usually makes news only when blamed for hunger strikes or riots, or a supplier is found providing rancid or insect-infested food. Yet it also poses an important but little-studied public health issue, recently tackled by a research team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which published a study showing outbreaks…

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The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) official watchdog late last year released a report on how to fix what it said is a systemic weakness at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP): its failure to obtain full data on reimbursement claims submitted by private healthcare providers, especially claims submitted electronically. According to the “procedural reform recommendation”…

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled against a prisoner who claimed that his serious medical needs were treated with deliberate indifference at an Illinois prison. Nathaniel Harper was imprisoned at Centralia Correctional Center when he became ill with stomach pains, vomiting and constipation. Harper alleged that nurse Terri Dean…

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Incarceration in a state or federal prison is bad. Incarceration in a state or federal prison while disabled is much worse. Consider the numbers. According to a recent Vice.com article, 31 percent of prisoners in state facilities reported having a physical or mental disability. And as the U.S. prison population ages, the number of disabled…

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