D+WC offers training & education in recognition of the complexity of PT/OT/ST service provision in correctional settings. This training is available to a diverse stakeholder group:
- State correctional facilities
- Federal correctional facilities
- Provider organizations
- Prison staffing companies
- Correctional medicine corporations
- Federal receivers offices
- Consultation with attorneys (defense & plaintiff)
- Court systems
There is no environment in which specialized provider training, education and management is more vital than in correctional settings. The growth in the U.S. prison population combined with the aging of this population presents many interesting opportunities for physical, occupational and speech therapists to provide necessary care.
Prison populations also present the most extreme of the extreme as many inmates had poor to no care pre-incarceration. A significant percentage of inmates are polysubstance abusers and suffer from chronic conditions at a much greater prevalence and severity than the general population. Screening for tuberculosis, HIV and Hepatitis C is critical in the correctional setting.
Prisoners also suffer from a disproportionate constellation of psychological conditions. The U.S. prison system is the world’s largest mental institution California’s 33 adult prisons represent the world’s largest skill nursing population. Many inmates have been victims of violence themselves; molestation as children or stabbed or shot on the streets. There is clearly no shortage of medical conditions in prison. Orthopedic cases run amok in prison partly, due to self-induced conditions from daily workouts often, with poor technique and inherently harmful exercises.
Prisons are correctional centers first and health care provision plays second fiddle. Custody has its own set of rules and regulations, which present many confounding obstacles to attempts to provide medically necessary, reasonable and appropriate services within a therapist’s ethical and professional code of conduct. Prison physical therapy makes workers’ compensation barriers to successful clinical outcomes pale by comparison. There is an exponential difference between prison care and any other treatment setting for which clinicians are prepared during formal educational pathways.
The psychosocial economic issues presented by an incarcerated population defy description. For physical and occupational therapists who are hands-on providers who spend extended periods of time with inmates (30-60 mins. per session); it is not business as usual.
D+WC is available to correctional institutions, provider organizations, government (state, local, federal) and correctional staffing companies in the development of robust and cost-effective physical therapy program capabilities that are in compliance with 8th amendment rights,the Plata case and other court decisions.