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The Crisis in Correctional Health Care: The Impact of the National Drug Control Strategy on Correctional Health Services

American College of Physicians*; National Commission on Correctional Health Care*, American Correctional Health Services Association*
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Requests for Reprints: Linda Johnson White, Director, Department of Scientific Policy, American College of Physicians, Independence Mall West, Sixth Street at Race, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572.


*This paper, authored by Janet Weiner, MPH, and B. Jaye Anno, PhD, was developed by the American College of Physicians' Human Rights and Medical Practice Subcommittee for the Health and Public Policy Committee. Members of the Human Rights Subcommittee for the 1991-92 year are: Quentin D. Young, MD, Chair; Carola Eisenberg, MD; William G. B. Graham, MD; Herbert Rothenberg, MD; Kim Thorburn, MD; and Abraham Verghese, MD. The American Correctional Health Services Association's Board of Directors approved it in February 1992, the American College of Physicians' Board of Regents approved it on 24 March 1992, and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care's Board of Directors approved it on 30 March 1992.


© 1992 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1992;117(1):71-77. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-117-1-71
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

The United States now incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than any other country: For every 100 000 persons, 426 are confined in prisons and jails (2). Most inmates are male, young, poor, and from minority groups. Most are substance abusers with substantial physical and mental health needs.

In the past decade, prison and jail populations doubled (3, 4), outpacing all attempts to increase the correctional system's ability to house and care for these inmates. From 1979 to 1988, direct governmental expenditures on corrections increased 216% (5). Despite this increase, at the end of 1990, prisons nationwide were estimated

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