Correctional health: Reducing personal risk


Factors that can reduce risk include
– Awareness of risk status of the facility (extreme, high, red, orange)
– Awareness of the risk value of the individual inmate (inmates in isolation units are more of a hazard than the general inmate population)
– No potential weapons must be available or visible in the correctional health clinic or prison hospital. Any crutch, assitive device, artifical limb or hospital scissors can be used as a weapon

– Furniture must be positioned in the correctional health clinic in such as fashion that the correctional health care worker has immediate and direct access to the door
– Custodial officers must be readily available during inmate consultations
– The correctional clinics and especially the prison hospital must be secure as these facilities are prone to hostage-taking and escape attempts
– A panic button must be available
– When inmates are admitted in outside hospitals they must be accompanied by at least two custody officers
– It may be appropriate to compromise confidentiality for security during consultations with dangerous inmates
– If the examining health care workers determine that the risk of injury is too high, the health care worker should not continue with the consultation. The consultation should be delayed to a later more appropriate time
– High risk inmates should be evaluated prior to their consultation and prior to entry into the cells when the correctional health practitioner does the compulsory daily rounds at the isolation cells