There are 2.3 million inmates held in U. S. Federal & State prisons and jails. Inmate populations receive high quality health care, including immunizations and diagnostic testing.
Administrative costs to track and manage needles within a correctional institution are significant, and there is also a real danger of needles becoming weapons and/or enticing inmates to overpower staff in an effort to obtain a needle. Unfortunately, illicit drugs will continue to enter correctional facilities regardless of security measures. State-of-the-art electronic drug detection equipment, staff, inmate and visitor searches, drug-sniffing K-9 units, and urinalysis use reduces, but does not eliminate drug introduction.
Incarceration of drug users contributes to higher rates of disease in prison. Prisoners that inject drugs, will most likely share needles. Some inmates claim the same needle will be used up to 200 times, and by 100 people. If the needle gets dull, it is sharpened and if it breaks, inmates continue to use it, often leading to infected abscesses. Needle sharing among prisoners is making prisons potential incubators of blood borne infections, including HIV and hepatitis. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the prevalence of active tuberculosis (TB) is up to 100 times higher in the prison system than in the community.
Cost and staff safety are real concerns in the Correctional Healthcare environment. Combine this with the clear benefits garnered with needle-free injection technology (elimination of needle re-use and needle-stick injuries, etc.) and this yields a perfect environment to remove the needle and syringes, and have needle-free injectors become the standard of care.
What Others Are Saying
“In correctional settings, staff safety is extremely important. In correctional facilities needles are used as weapons and are a danger to the staff. Needles are used as contraband, traded for drugs and used for tattoos, which spread disease …. Needle-free delivery of vaccinations in corrections would be extremely beneficial for the health and welfare of all people in this environment.” – Managing Director for Purchasing, Private Prison Company
“Best thing that happened to corrections.” – Warden, Private Prison in Arizona
“The staff like it for medical and security reasons.” – Warden, State Prison in Missouri
“The needle-free technology would help with compliance and needle accountability issues. Staff safety would be increased if needles were removed from prisons.” – Warden, United States Penitentiary
“Very impressive technology. Regional and central office staff found great value in the needle-free device.” – Health Service Administrators, Federal Bureau of Prisons
“I like this. Getting needles out of prisons would be great. Staff would appreciate the safety benefits and lack of disposal costs.” – Retired Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Washington, DC
“This is great for dealing with inmate healthcare and reducing staff injuries.” – Warden, State Correctional Institution in Virginia
“I ran penitentiaries for many years. Getting needles away from convicts makes sense.” – Retired Warden, United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners
“I work in correctional healthcare now and needle-free institutions would be good.” – Retired Regional Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
“Nice… I retired and finally someone thought of getting needles out of the pen.” – Retired Warden, United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth, KS
“Inmates and staff loved it. Security items were on the top of our list describing the benefits.” – Regional Health Services Administrator, Federal Bureau of Prisons
“We are very impressed with the PharmaJet staff, their training, and how they did our pilot study for the Bureau of Prisons. Results were outstanding.” – Chief Pharmacist, Federal Correctional Complex
“My staff love it and want it today. Once GSA and the DC Formulary Committee approve, we are ready to purchase.” – Health Services Administrator, Federal Correctional Institution
“These inmates love it. The staff really got the training down and see the value of using it.” – Regional Manager, Correctional Healthcare Company in Missouri
“Staff got this implemented well (using needle-free injectors with inmate patients). This also helps security staff to get the inmates in and out of the hospital area in a faster manner.” – Corporate Safety Officer, Correctional Healthcare Company in Missouri
“Getting needles out of prisons would be great for everyone – a win win situation. Staff safety is our number one mission, but we continue to use dangerous needles in many institutions. Reducing cost and increasing accountability is a no brainer. We need to protect staff and get needles out of prisons… period.” – Regional Union Official (Retired), Federal Bureau of Prisons