March 11, 2005
PRISON HEALTH CARE
By: Christopher Reinhart, Senior Attorney
You asked what types of medical services prisons provide, what types require travel off-site, and how often inmates receive physicals and whether they are performed at the prisons or off-site.
The Department of Correction (DOC) provides health care to offenders including medical, mental health, dental, addiction, and other services. DOC has a partnership with the University of Connecticut, Correctional Managed Health Care to provide services.
DOC has a 12-bed medical surgical ward at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. For fiscal year 2002-2003, 350 inmates entered the inpatient program and 1,863 were treated in the outpatient program.
Before placing an inmate in the general population, staff must conduct a comprehensive health screening of a newly admitted inmate or an abbreviated health screening for an inmate transferred from another facility. The inmate is immediately transferred to a community health facility or correctional infirmary for emergency care when necessary. Inmates receive periodic health assessments as determined by their responsible physician. Staff, verbally and in writing, inform an inmate when he is admitted to a facility about how to get routine and emergency health care (DOC Directive 8.1).
At facilities, the health services unit conducts routine sick calls and develops procedures for sick call requests. Infirmaries provide 24-hour skilled nursing care. A registered nurse plans, organizes, and administers the nursing services. A physician is responsible for health care and makes rounds at least every 48 hours. A physician is on-call for telephone consultation 24 hours a day. Each health services unit ensures access to specialty services when required (DOC Directive 8.1).
DOC will provide us with additional information about medical services and physicals. We will send this information to you when we receive it.