Medical Service in a Federal Prison Camp, Part 1

What kind of medical services do inmates receive in federal prison camp? Now that is an interesting question that I think most people would want to know. Therefore I will enlighten you with the facts in a five part series of my experience regarding one prison camp’s medical service.

Upon self-surrender, all new inmates within the first few weeks receive a physical from the BOP (bureau of prison) medical staff. A pretty routine check-up like blood pressure, eyesight, hearing, heart and lung, light muscle exercises, reflex testing, a urine sample for lab work and a series of questions pertaining to inmates personal medical history. A simple and painless check-up every man should get once a year.

For me, there was a slight case of high blood pressure in which they monitored for the next few weeks but I quickly attributed it to the stress of a new place. All was back to normal upon my next check up.

Another test which is performed immediately is for tuberculosis or TB as it’s more commonly known. They also want to make sure that your tetanus shot is up to date, in fact they insist on you taking one for preventative measures.

Now you can exercise your rights by refusing a shot but the BOP medical staff will require you to sign a waiver form denying the shot so they are not held responsible. In my case I decided to receive the tetanus shot because I could not remember the last time I had one.

In the same weeks I was also checked by a dentist and a very good one based on his bedside manners. He gently checked my teeth, no x-rays and made a detailed record of my dental work for the BOP files. The dentist even scheduled me for a teeth cleaning at a later date.

So there you have it, within a month all test came back negative and I was cleared to be assigned a work detail. My first impression of the medical service and dentist was pretty good but then my eyes were opened to the truth.


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