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Prison Health

By on January 22, 2012

People in U.S. jails and prisons are at increased risk for exposure to violence, sexual assault, HIV and other sexually transmitted  infections as well as the flu. While it’s commonly acknowledged that inamtes around the country at higher risk of infection, most did not get the H1N1 vaccine in 2009-2010. Does it matter? Do you care? Here’s why you should.

“Although most jail entrants are healthy men, jail populations can include those in the highest risk categories for influenza.”

Health officials from the state and federal levels recognzie the majority of inmates today will eventually be released and while behavioral rehabilitation may not always be in the budget, it’s a bad idea to have an epidemic of chronically ill prisoners. Germs don’t typically stay behind prison walls.

A report published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said 55% of U.S. jails did not receive any H1N1 vaccine in 2009-2010 and thus were excluded from the national vaccine campaign.

“Including both jail and prison inmates in emergency preparedness efforts, especially vaccination campaigns, is important for the health of communities overall,” the report said.

Because African American men are disproportionately incarcerated around the country, this is a major health issue that exacerbates existing health disparities, and therefore a crisis for black families. Afterall, black men in prison eventually will be released.

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