Healthcare: Ill and dying in prison

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click for audio slideshow

Family Life Behind Bars has been working very slowly on a project that looks at the healthcare that is provided to inmates and the role families play in caring for someone in prison. The site had a great personal audio piece about one daughter’s attempts to care for her sick father in prison. We’ll keep plugging away at this angle.

In the meantime, the New York Times has an interesting piece about how more prisons are starting hospice programs as the prison population ages with many of them using inmate volunteers to ease the pain of dying in prison. Without family to help deal with the illness, the last days or months of life can be difficult. Fellow inmates can help deal that remaining time.

One prison healthcare official says that “inmate volunteers bond with the patients in a way that staff members cannot, taking on “the touchy-feely thing” that may be inappropriate between inmates and prison workers.”

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: How do you try to care for a family member who is in prison and ill?

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About Sandeep Junnarkar

Sandeep Junnarkar is the founder and editorial director of Family Lives Behind Bars.