This paper reports on the prevalence of chronic illnesses, including mental illness, and access to healthcare services for people in U.S. jails and prisons.
The researchers used 2002 Survey of Inmates in Local Jails and the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities to estimate disease prevalence and access to health care. They found that many people in correctional facilities with a serious chronic condition fail to receive care while incarcerated. People with mental illness are commonly not receiving treatment at the time of their arrest. They highlight the importance of improving correctional healthcare and linkages with community mental health services to reduce incarceration.