inmate health

Lawmakers Confronted With Multiple Prison Problems

Dec 20, 2019
The state may have to pay millions of dollars more in treatment costs for inmates infected with hepatitis C.
Florida Department of Corrections

When state lawmakers talk about Florida prisons, a trifecta of problems often comes up: staffing levels, health care costs and crumbling facilities. 

Florida’s prison system, the third largest in the nation, has long faced issues with contraband drugs, yet the state agency that grapples with the problems does not track the number of inmates treated for overdoses.

State Seeks Reversal Of Prison Hepatitis Ruling

Aug 8, 2019
The state may have to pay millions of dollars more in treatment costs for inmates infected with hepatitis C.
Florida Department of Corrections

The Florida Department of Corrections this week asked a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling that requires the state to provide costly treatment to inmates who have been diagnosed with the early stages of hepatitis C. 

This last May was the hottest ever recorded in the Sunshine State. That was followed by higher-than-average temperatures in June and July. The scorching hot temperatures means thousands of inmates across the state are spending what could potentially be a record-breaking summer without access to air conditioning.

The Florida Department of Corrections operates 50 “major facilities” across the state. Only 18 of them have air conditioning in “most of their housing,” according to the department.

Florida's prisons have a health care problem.

The state's aging prison population and the high cost of treating inmates with debilitating diseases are behind a surge in spending on health care in recent years.


Federal law requires prisons and jails to provide medical care to people who are incarcerated. But in a recent medical journal, a group of South Florida researchers make the case that too many inmates suffer and die in part because "they lack adequate access to timely care."

"We wanted to know: what are people dying of while they're incarcerated in Miami-Dade County?" says Dr. Tanya Zakrison, a trauma surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

A new law takes effect Saturday that would allow a state law enforcement agency to better conduct investigations into the treatment of Florida prison inmates.

Biking Behind Bars: Female Inmates Battle Weight Gain

Oct 11, 2015

The gym at Riverside Correctional Facility in Philadelphia is through the metal detector, two heavy doors and down the hall.

There's a basketball court like one you'd see at any high school, except there's a corrections officer on guard near the 3-point line.

Sixteen stationary bikes are set up in a half-circle in the corner. On bike No. 2, Lakiesha Montgomery, 32, from Philadelphia, is pedaling fast and singing along to the Nicki Minaj song "Fly."

"I didn't think I'd be able to keep up; I'm not the skinniest thing in the bunch," she says.