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Two thirds of US prisoners with chronic conditions in local jails do not get medical care, study shows

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 20 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b208
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    The first national study of the health of US prison inmates shows that they are much sicker than other Americans of the same age and have poor access to health care. Better health care for prisoners would benefit the community, because about 12 million inmates are released each year, thus bringing their health problems and infections into the community, the report says.

    The authors of the study, carried out by the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School, write: “The prison population of the United States has quadrupled in the past 25 years and the country now incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation” (American Journal of Public Health doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.144279).

    About 750 per 100 000 US adults are in prison, about five times the proportion in the United Kingdom (148 per …

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