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Prisoners' health: a test for civilisation

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7099.0 (Published 05 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:0

If you are interested to assess the degree of civilisation of a country then don't visit its parliament or theatres but its prisons. A visit to its prisons will show that Britain can make only a weak claim to being a civilised country. Its prisons are sumps. They contain many more of the sad and the mad than the bad, and they are overcrowded, unsanitary, and a threat to health. As several papers in this issue show, prisoners receive poorer health services than the rest of the population.

Prisons are dreadful places because nobody cares …

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