Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) discussed "The Health and Health Care of US Prisoners."
Few inmates with "active medical problems" are monitored. Mental health problems are "ubiquitous." Treatment is deplorable.
"Almost a million inmates report having 1 more chronic medical (problems), and their access to medical care appears to be poor."
"Providing inmates with health care is politically unpopular. Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona said Bush administration officials blocked release of his report titled, "Call to Action on Corrections in Community Health."
They did so fearing it "would increase government spending on inmates." PNHP stressed that "constitutional, public health, and human rights imperatives of improving health care in prisons and jails are clear."
In January 2009, PNHP headlined "US prisoners sicker than believed and have poor access to care."
An American Journal of Public Health article discussed a first-ever nationwide study. It said about 40% of America's prison population (over 800,000 inmates) have chronic medical conditions.
They include diabetes, heart and kidney problems, asthma, and cancer. Researchers found "sick prisoners have poor access to care." Many in need aren't treated. Others get deplorable care.
Compared with comparably aged Americans, the incidence of inmates' illness is much higher. Treatment is sub-standard.
"Inmates with medical problems like diabetes, which requires drug treatment (daily), often had their vital medications stopped after their incarceration."
Lead study author, Dr. Andrew Wilper said:
"A substantial percentage of inmates have serious medical needs. Yet many of them don't get even minimal medical care. These prisoners are denied their constitutionally guaranteed right to care."
Lynne is affected like others. Her struggle for good health accompanies her appeal to be set free. Her treatment reflects police state justice.
It symbolizes what's wrong with America. It spurns rule of law principles. It imprisons its best and brightest. It's contemptuous of fundamental civil and human rights. Wealth, power, privilege and dominance alone matter.