Federal Strategy Is Needed To Help Improve Medical and Dental Care in Prisons and Jails

Gao ID: GGD-78-96 December 22, 1978

The health care delivery systems of most prisons and jails are inadequate because of deficiencies in ensuring adequate levels of care, physical examinations, medical records, staffing, facilities, and equipment. Officials said that they lacked funds to make improvements. Should those needs continue to be underfunded, it is critical that ways to improve utilization of all available resources be examined.

Inmates' health needs can only be learned by giving them thorough physical examinations. Medical and dental records must be complete and confidential. Sufficient, qualified health staff should be available. Prisons and jails should meet national medical and dental care standards for the services they provide, or obtain these services in the community.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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