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Article
Publication date: 29 August 2019

Stephanie E. Perrett and Thomas D. Waite

Prison populations are considered at elevated risk of blood borne virus (BBV) transmission. Between December 2015 and February 2016, four new cases of HIV infection were…

Abstract

Purpose

Prison populations are considered at elevated risk of blood borne virus (BBV) transmission. Between December 2015 and February 2016, four new cases of HIV infection were diagnosed across two male vulnerable prisoner (VP) custodial units in Wales, UK. Cases were identified through routine BBV testing. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

As a result of identifying four new HIV cases, targeted BBV testing across the VP units using dried blood spot testing for HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV) and Hepatitis B was undertaken.

Findings

A total of 617 men were offered testing, 256 (41 per cent) were tested. No further cases of HIV were identified. Eight men were identified as HCV antibody positive. There was no evidence to suggest the four original cases of HIV were linked.

Practical implications

Embedding universal BBV screening within prison health provision will ensure timely identification of cases. Further research is needed to better understand BBV transmission risks within subsets of the prison population such as the VP and sex offending groups.

Originality/value

Little is known about the prevalence of BBVs in vulnerable prison populations. The findings add to the knowledge available for practitioners in the field.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Suzanne Hughes, Timothy James Trimble and Anne O’Rourke

Young offenders are disproportionately represented in the Irish Prison Service (IPS) and are a population with complex needs and highest risk of re-offending. Subsets of…

Abstract

Purpose

Young offenders are disproportionately represented in the Irish Prison Service (IPS) and are a population with complex needs and highest risk of re-offending. Subsets of young offenders in IPS are placed on Protection for their own and/or other’s safety. There is limited research regarding the experiences of young offenders, and there is none on the subjective experiences of young offenders on Protection that could be identified. This study aims to address a limitation of a previous study on the experiences of young offenders in an Irish prison (Hughes et al., 2017) by providing insight into experiences of young offenders on Protection in Mountjoy Prison.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a non-experimental, qualitative, semi-structured interview design, a purposive sampling method was used, and six young offenders participated. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim with potentially identifiable information removed to ensure anonymity. An interpretative phenomenological analysis was applied to interpret the data.

Findings

Two superordinate themes provided an overview of the young offender’s experiences of Protection in an Irish prison: ‘Social Order on Protection’ and ‘Adjustment on Protection’.

Research limitations/implications

Even though it is a relatively small sample size, this study contributes to existing literature and considers sentence management and clinical implications.

Originality/value

This study helps to address a gap in literature by providing insight into the overall experiences of young male offenders (aged 18–21) on Protection in an Irish prison. The findings are in line with most researches, which highlight additional negative consequences of “restrictive prisons regimes” such as Protection. This study provides information to prisons for the development of best practice guidelines and better sentence management and delivery of services to young offenders on Protection.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 February 2021

Katherine E. McLeod, Kelsey Timler, Mo Korchinski, Pamela Young, Tammy Milkovich, Cheri McBride, Glenn Young, William Wardell, Lara-Lisa Condello, Jane A. Buxton, Patricia A. Janssen and Ruth Elwood Martin

Currently, people leaving prisons face concurrent risks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the overdose public health emergency. The closure or reduction of community services…

Abstract

Purpose

Currently, people leaving prisons face concurrent risks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the overdose public health emergency. The closure or reduction of community services people rely on after release such as treatment centres and shelters has exacerbated the risks of poor health outcomes and harms. This paper aims to learn from peer health mentors (PHM) about changes to their work during overlapping health emergencies, as well as barriers and opportunities to support people leaving prison in this context.

Design/methodology/approach

The Unlocking the Gates (UTG) Peer Health Mentoring Program supports people leaving prison in British Columbia during the first three days after release. The authors conducted two focus groups with PHM over video conference in May 2020. Focus groups were recorded and transcribed, and themes were iteratively developed using narrative thematic analysis.

Findings

The findings highlighted the importance of peer health mentorship for people leaving prisons. PHM discussed increased opportunities for collaboration, ways the pandemic has changed how they are able to provide support, and how PHM are able to remain responsive and flexible to meet client needs. Additionally, PHM illuminated ways that COVID-19 has exacerbated existing barriers and identified specific actions needed to support client health, including increased housing and recovery beds, and tools for social and emotional well-being.

Originality/value

This study contributes to our understanding of peer health mentorship during the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of mentors. PHM expertise can support release planning, improved health and well-being of people leaving prison and facilitate policy-supported pandemic responses.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2005

Hannah Cinamon and Richard Bradshaw

In the last four years health services in public sector prisons in England have undergone a period of rapid reform and modernisation. Before this, prisoners' health care…

Abstract

In the last four years health services in public sector prisons in England have undergone a period of rapid reform and modernisation. Before this, prisoners' health care was characterised by over‐medicalisation, isolation from the NHS, and lack of education and training for health care staff. As part of this process of reform, responsibility for funding and commissioning these services has moved from the Prison Service to the National Health Service (NHS). The results so far seem encouraging. Services are better funded, standards have improved and there is significant progress in developing a strong partnership between the key partners ‐ the Prison Service and the NHS ‐ at national and local levels. These reforms address human rights and the aim of the Prison Health Unit, that prisoners should be able to expect their health needs to be met adequately by services that are broadly equivalent to services on offer in the community. Some learning points for other countries are considered. An equivalent strategy for the modernisation of public sector prisons in Wales is being developed by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Jörg Pont

Health care practitioners in prison face the challenge of providing high standards of health care within the unique peculiarities and restraints of the prison environment…

Abstract

Health care practitioners in prison face the challenge of providing high standards of health care within the unique peculiarities and restraints of the prison environment. The strict adherence to principles of medical ethics by the prison health care staff and the knowledge and acceptance of these principles by the whole prison community not only results in ethical conduct but also yields practical professional advantages such as guidance in situations of conflict, promotion of confidence and avoidance of misunderstandings. The internationally consented conventions, declarations and recommendations relevant on medical ethics in prison are presented and their basic principles ‐ the primary task of the prison doctor, access to a doctor, equivalence of care, patient’s consent and confidentiality, preventive health care, humanitarian assistance, professional independence, professional competence ‐ are discussed. In addition, the personal obligation of the prison doctor for ethical reflection and decision making in individual ethical issues not covered by the quoted documents and in ethically controversial issues is emphasized. A training course and published guidelines for ethical conduct in prison health care are recommended.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

A. Fraser

Mental illness affects the majority of prisoners. Mental health issues are beginning to take a central position in the development of prison health services, reflecting…

Abstract

Mental illness affects the majority of prisoners. Mental health issues are beginning to take a central position in the development of prison health services, reflecting this burden of disease. This change in focus is not before time. But prison mental health services cannot exist in isolation. Public health systems should lead provision of care for patients with acute and severe illness. A whole prison approach to health and, specifically, mental health will offer the greatest likelihood that offenders will thrive, benefit from imprisonment, and lead law‐abiding lives after release. Public awareness of the scale and commitment of prisons to mental health and illness, and understanding of prisons’ role in society, are necessary developments that would protect and enhance public mental health, as well as creating a healthier and safer society. This article draws on recent reviews, information and statements to set out a public health agenda for mental health in prisons.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2008

L. F. Moller, B. J. Van Den Bergh, S. Karymbaeva, A. Esenamanova and R. Muratalieva

In Kyrgyzstan the prevalence of injecting drug behaviour is among the highest found throughout the world. Health promotion training, improved health care and…

Abstract

In Kyrgyzstan the prevalence of injecting drug behaviour is among the highest found throughout the world. Health promotion training, improved health care and needle/syringe exchange (NSE) programmes have been shown to decrease risk behaviour among injecting drug users. In Kyrgyzstan, an intervention study with training of prison staff and prisoners was performed in one prison. Before and after the training, a random selection of the prisoners answered a questionnaire about drug use, risk behaviour and health care. The survey was carried out in both the intervention prison and in a reference prison. The number of drug users, the use of drugs and risk behaviour were improved significantly within half a year and, especially, the injection and use of drugs decreased in the intervention group. The study clearly shows that increased focus, improved healthcare and training of prisoners and staff on drug use and harm reduction can reduce both use of drugs and risk behaviour.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1989

Samuel Cameron

A cross‐section of 1980 US data on the prison population and itsrate of inflow is examined. Regression analysis is used to investigatethe impact of prison overcrowding…

Abstract

A cross‐section of 1980 US data on the prison population and its rate of inflow is examined. Regression analysis is used to investigate the impact of prison overcrowding, race, crime and unemployment on the above variables. Racial composition and overcrowding are found to have significant positive impacts on the numbers in prison and the rate of inflow. Unemployment does not have a significant influence, nor does the crime rate influence inflow, but it does have a significant positive correlation with the level of the prison population.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 16 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2014

Stephanie Ellen Perrett, Mark Erricker and Marion Lyons

The purpose of this paper is to provide education on blood-borne viruses (BBVs) to prison staff to help reduce stigma within the prisons, improve the care prisoners…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide education on blood-borne viruses (BBVs) to prison staff to help reduce stigma within the prisons, improve the care prisoners receive and reduce the risk of occupational transmission.

Design/methodology/approach

An e-module was used to improve staff understanding of hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV at a prison in Wales, UK. An assessment was used to gather data on prison staff understanding of BBVs prior to undertaking the e-module.

Findings

In total, 530/697 (76 per cent) prison staff completed the BBV e-module. Average pre- and post-course assessment scores were 8.6/11 and 10.85/11, respectively. Most staff understood the modes of hepatitis transmission, however, gaps in understanding were highlighted. In total, 22 per cent of staff believed HBV and HCV were airborne, 9 per cent believed transmission occurred through sharing cutlery. In total, 31 per cent of staff believed prisoners with hepatitis should declare their status to the prison.

Practical implications

The e-module significantly improved staff understanding of BBVs and should be incorporated into future prison training packages. Future education should include how BBVs are not transmitted with an emphasis on casual contact. Medical confidentiality in prisons should also be addressed. Improving understanding will help reduce the stigma of BBVs within prison and improve the multidisciplinary care the prisoner receives.

Originality/value

To the authors knowledge this is the first published evaluation of a BBV learning package for custodial staff. Evaluation of this educational package demonstrates a unique and valuable insight into the general understanding of BBVs by prison staff in Wales, UK.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

K. Edgar and D. Rickford

From first contact with the police to release from prison, people with mental ill health who come into conflict with the law often find that their mental health needs are…

Abstract

From first contact with the police to release from prison, people with mental ill health who come into conflict with the law often find that their mental health needs are neglected while they are under the authority of the criminal justice system. In 2008, the Prison Reform Trust surveyed independent monitoring boards in England and Wales, asking them to comment on mental health care. Topics included the adequacy of court diversion schemes, assessments carried out in prison reception units, and preparations to ensure continuity of care upon release. The responses documented some of the consequences of neglect in prisons in England and Wales. Over half of the boards felt that they frequently saw prisoners who were too ill to be in prison. Boards also expressed concerns about assessment processes in prison reception areas, which were by no means adequate to identify mental health problems. A number of boards stated that, too often, people with severe mental illnesses are held in segregation units, where they endure an impoverished regime. The boards observed that many prisons lack any means of identifying people who have learning disabilities, and often their disabilities restrict their capacity to engage fully with the regime.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

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