sexta-feira, 17 de junho de 2011

The health of prisoners

Seena Fazel and Jacques Baillargeon (March 12, p 956)1 have produced a high-quality Review on the health needs of prisoners. After reading this paper, it is difficult to understand how the health of prisoners could not be a government priority. If prison is intended to punish and protect society, it also has the task of reintegration, including within the health-care system.
The example of addiction is especially informative. Addictions largely affect the prison population, and the link between addiction and violence has been described.2, 3 Treatment of addiction could help to promote reintegration and to fight against recidivism. Unfortunately, health professionals are too few to meet the needs of prisoners in this respect.4
Many reports increasingly show that the means fall short of the need. In France, a report by the Court of Auditors,5 which is known for its criticism of irrelevant government spending, recommended a “better budget for future health care costs of prisoners”. France has already been criticised by the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture of the Council of Europe for its detention conditions and poor access to health care in prison. Despite these reports, the horizon does not seem to brighten.
Access to care in prison is a human right. Unfortunately, the health of prisoners is a public health priority confronted by the principles of realpolitik.

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Mensagem de boas-vindas

"...Quando um voluntário é essencialmente um visitador prisional, saiba ele que o seu papel, por muito pouco que a um olhar desprevenido possa parecer, é susceptível de produzir um efeito apaziguador de grande alcance..."

"... When one is essentially a volunteer prison visitor, he knows that his role, however little that may seem a look unprepared, is likely to produce a far-reaching effect pacificatory ..."

Dr. José de Sousa Mendes
Presidente da FIAR