March 24, 2009

ID: "If I hadn’t have got here, I’d have been dead"

The Idaho State Journal is continuing its "City on the Hill" series on the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center, with the most recent installments covering medical and mental health care in prison:

Treating Inmates

Every woman in Idaho placed under the care of the Department of Correction is screened at PWCC, even if they are headed for other facilities. The screening Includes a physical, pap smear, a mental health evaluation, blood work and a dental exam. To tend to the inmates' medical needs, the prison must offer what is essentially a small hospital...

Treating Inmates, Part 2

Most inmates with underlying mental health problems are able to function in the general population with medication, support groups or both. Those who can’t are housed in the maximum security unit... until they can be stabilized and reintegrated into the general population. Medication is one tool to help the women, but they often must address their underlying emotions to achieve more durable mental health...