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Posted By Emre Umar

The importance of adequate medical care in prison cannot be overstated. Prisons, like schools and hospitals, have people living in close contact with each other. This close contact is the perfect scenario for illness to spread. Another point to consider is that many people end up in prison because of mental health issues. In many states, the prison system may be the largest provider of mental health treatment in the state. Finally, the importance of releasing prisoners in as healthy of a state as possible cannot be overstated. 

Preventing the Spread of Illness

Living in close contact with a variety of individuals from various circumstances is a recipe for the spread of infectious disease. While some illnesses, such as the flu, are relatively benign, others, like tuberculosis, can be disastrous if improperly treated. Inconsistent treatment of tuberculosis can lead to the individuals developing treatment resistant varieties of the disease. This is challenging enough to deal with in the prison system, but is even more troublesome when that prisoner is released from confinement.

Treating Mental Health Issues

People end up in prison for a lot of reasons, and not all of them have to do with choices entirely within their control. Untreated or improperly treated mental health issues can lead to behavior that quickly ends up with someone in the prison system. While there, these mental health issues will hopefully be addressed. Treating mental health issues often requires a lot of trial and error, and the patient is often not in the best position to help himself. Quality medical care can go a long way in rehabilitation.

Releasing Healthy Individuals

Once a prisoner is released from prison, he or she will hopefully find a job, housing and restart their life in a positive direction. This is much easier to do if the individual is in good condition, having received regular medical and dental care.

Adequate medical care in prison is a requirement for the prisoner, but it also has far reaching results in society. Individuals who have received quality medical care in prison are better able to resume a productive life when they set released.

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