Medical Service in a Federal Prison Camp, Part 2

Drugs and medicine, health related medication from a doctor for certain illnesses that require a prescription are handled two ways depending on the type of drug.

First, most medication is given to the inmates the same way as if they were at home. Get a prescription from the doctor, get it filled, the patient takes them till they run out and then get a refill if needed based on their condition. For example, like an inmate on blood pressure or heart medication.

Second, every morning and afternoon a nurse or medical personnel comes to the camp and administers medication to each inmate requiring it. For example, a diabetic on insulin taking injections, he is called to the infirmary for his daily injection.

Now there is also over the counter medication available to the inmates for minor illnesses like colds and headaches. The commissary carries a limited variety like aspirins, couch drops, eye drops, allergy pills, antacid, laxatives, band-aides and a small assortment of vitamins.

It would be a good idea to purchase some of these simple medications to keep in your locker because if you get a headache or indigestion and you ask for medical to provide don’t count on it because I have heard of instances when inmates were told to wait till the commissary opens again for aspirins. In other words if the commissary provides it they will not distribute it.

The prison camp does provide flu shots to those who want them during the flu season in the winter months but it is not mandatory.

One Comment to “Medical Service in a Federal Prison Camp, Part 2”
on 14 Jan at 2:29 am1Todd

I note some differences from the site where you were stationed and the Wisconsin medium security facility I work at.

First, similarities: Your second and third paragraphs are clones of the procedures in Wisconsin.

The fourth paragraph, however, detailing OTC meds for individual possession and use as determined by the inmate — now there is a privilege utterly unknown where I work. No meds are allowed to the inmates’ purview whatsoever. I find it sad, but the state gives its reasons (security enforcement).

Your fifth paragraph is a half-and-half match to most of Wisconsin’s state prison procedures. Without the privilege of some OTC meds, purchasing a few for those to hedge rainy days, as you suggest, is of course out of the question for Wisconsin inmates. However, the latter point about the out-of-luck ill ones (or just plain poor planners) is the standard where I teach. Many’s the man who’s had to wait overnight to have a flu, blazing headache, or toothache addressed.

Exceptions are made for overt emergencies, of course, but the decision lies in the shift commander’s hands.


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