The Privatization Of Prison Healthcare Essay

1955 words - 8 pages

There are over 2.3 million persons within the” Prison Industrial Complex”. The “Prison Industrial Complex" is used to describe the overlapping interests of government and industry (Herzing, 2005). The interest of industry within the state prisons of Illinois has led to the selling of inmate healthcare rights to many private companies. The privatization of healthcare within the prison industrial complex is unconstitutional and perpetuates unethical treatment of persons who are incarcerated. These private companies are not being held accountable for the lack of treatment and negligence of providing services within state prisons.
While, equality of healthcare provision in America continues to be a leading topic of debate. Healthcare rights for incarcerated persons are largely absent from this national conversation. Healthcare affordability and accessibility to quality treatment, medicine and doctors remains a priority across all ages, races, genders and political parties. Because “the state” is given the power of autonomy from the provision of law under the federal government, it should be the responsibility of “the state” to provide adequate healthcare services and treatment to persons who are incarcerated.
The system of the Prison Industrial Complex operates within the law. The law allows private companies to infiltrate the prison, while keeping prisoners in a subjugated position. The law, under the Eight Amendment obligates prison officials to provide prisoners with “adequate” medical care. This principle applies regardless of whether the medical care provided is by governmental employees or by private medical staff under contract with the government (Project, 2012). If prisoners believe they are being denied their constitutional right to adequate health care, they are left the burden to prove that prison officials have treated them with “deliberated indifference”. I will further define “deliberate indifference” in my paper. However, I believe it is problematic for an inmate to prove medical negligence within a system that was created to oppress one’s voice and strip the very rights that makes them a human being.
Moreover, the laws definition of “deliberate indifference” enables prison officials to manipulate the law. A prison official demonstrates “deliberate indifference “is he or she recklessly disregards a substantial risk of harm to the prisoner (Project, 2012). Many prisons are able to get around the “deliberate indifference” by lacking policy which would require more oversight of inmate medical needs. In example, prison must provide a diabetic prisoner with food with which he may eat in a manner proper for his condition. In one case, however, a court found that prison officials were not “deliberately indifferent” to insulin dependent prisoner's need for proper diet in prescribing a "self-monitored" diabetic diet in which the prisoner was responsible for choosing the proper food (Farber, 2007). By the prisoner transferring the burden...

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