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Prison Medical Care: Special Needs Populations and Cost Control

September 1997

Corrections agencies are currently providing many specialized medical services to individuals in their inmate populations who require more extensive care than that provided to most inmates. One result is rising medical care costs for state corrections agencies. It is in this context that the NIC Prisons Division and Information Center initiated a national survey on special issues in prison medical services.

The project was intended:

--To explore how corrections agencies are providing medical care to three inmate populations with special needs: the elderly, the terminally ill, and the chronically ill, particularly the degree to which DOCs have consolidated specialized services at one or more facilities; and

--To assess the use of cost management initiatives in the medical division of each prison system.

NIC distributed a survey instrument to departments of corrections (DOCs) nationwide in May 1997. Staff made follow-up contacts among the DOCs during the summer to promote a high response rate. Completed surveys were returned by 46 states; the District of Columbia; New York City, New York; the Virgin Islands; and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. A list of agency respondents is provided as an appendix to this report.

..For the rest of the report.. by U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, Information Center Longmont, Colorado

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