Sentenced to inequality or injustice? “ Prisoners should be entitled to the same level of health care as that provided in society at large” Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, Sir David Ramsbotham Prisoner Public Health Society
Presents a clear, focused message that is easy to understand I completed a prison Health Needs Assessment in September 2009 which highlighted various issues surrounding inequalities. It is a reflection of a humane society how its prisoners are treated. Social inequalities, deprivation, and adverse childhood and life experiences are directly associated with an increased risk of imprisonment. The message from this slide is clear and focused – our public health efforts on society affect issues which lead to people becoming prisoners. The prisoners themselves create issues for public health bodies – by virtue of their high-risk behaviour, high rates of mental health problems and undiagnosed physical health problems. The title asks the important question – are people in prison there due to their lifetime sentence of social inequality/deprivation or are they unfairly sentenced to poor health by virtue if being a prisoner? Pleasing to the eye! This is a hard hitting message which is set to counter many prejudices which unfortunately many people hold about how we treat our prisoners. There are no images/pictures as it is the “bigger picture” we, as public health professionals, need to consider. The background is plain and simple – the message is the important point! The arrows of the diagram are one-way only – the message is that prisoners are a significant and important issue for public health professionals directly– prisoners (to the left and above public health creating the sense that a “weight” is bearing down on public health departments who then have to work upwards/hard on society to counter this problem in society (to the above and right)). There is a reminder from an eminent author at the bottom – this is an important issue!
Has the clear potential to help a decision be made (or has realised that potential) The decision to be made is what needs to be done about prisoners’ health? The slide hopefully sets people thinking that it is not only public health interventions for prisoners which are needed but there are also wider societal issues which need to be considered – on which public health teams can also influence. Unfortunately, there is often inherent prejudice to considerations about how prisoners are treated – many believe that prison is a time for punishment. The opportunity for rehabilitation within prisons and healthcare problems to be identified and treated really can be described as a golden opportunity. The slide title offers two options – neither of which perpetuates the idea that prisoners are sentenced for justice and punishment! Demonstrates one or more of the 10 public health competencies The most important message from this slide demonstrates the “Ethical Management of Self and Professionalism” competency of working within a value system appropriate to public health advocacy. It is essential that public health practitioners are a voice for marginalised groups who traditionally have poor access to existing healthcare services. Prisoners often come from marginalised communities and themselves have poor prior usage of both mental and physical healthcare services. By highlighting that this issue is important for both public health professionals and society in general, the slide sets out to remind people that there is a problem – and it affects us all.