Albemarle-Charlottesville Jail Evaluates Health Care Services
Health care is one of the biggest issues facing our society. Now, the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail is looking at its health care services and evaluating if it's doing enough for patients behind bars.
Nurses at the jail say they see 2,200 inmates a year. They say many patients leave the jail in better shape than they came.
"Just because we're locked up doesn't mean that we don't deserve the same quality of health care as everybody else," said inmate Marjorie Brazell, who has been in the jail since April for prescription fraud charges.
Nurses say many inmates can fall through the health care cracks.
"Whatever their barriers might be when they walk through those doors, there's a group of people here, a dedicated staff that care about that inmate and want to improve their life," said Alex Butler, a nurse and medical unit coordinator.
Brazell said she's been satisfied with the medical treatment she's gotten in the jail. "Anything from routine care to psychological issues, they're always very attentive and professional," she said.
People from the AIDS/HIV Services Group (ASG) also go to the jail to do testing, and help those that test positive.
"It takes a huge burden off a person when they realize that their HIV status and medical care is something they don't have to worry about when they get out," said ASG spokesperson Hannah Green.
Nurses say their health services at the jail are all part of an effort to treat people right, to get them back on track when they get back home.
"It is a part of community health that when these guys come in through the doors, that they're meaningful to our community, that they're going to be better assets our community if they feel good about themselves and their healthcare," Butler said.
Brazell is now in the reentry program and she agrees. "I'm excited to start a new chapter in my life. I've had a hard road, made some mistakes, but I'm learning from them and I'm ready to be a better person," she said.
Health professionals at the regional jail say they see hundreds of inmates right in their medical unit, but if someone is too sick for care in the jail, they will take them to get outside care if needed.
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