Public Health

Topics At A Glance

Drug Treatment

  • Better managementDrug Treatmentof the availability of drug treatment services for the offender population in DPSCS has allowed the Department to increase the number of available substance abuse treatment slots by 3% from FY09 to FY10.  From FY07 to FY10, the number of available treatment slots increased by 30%.
  • Although the percentage of seats available being utilized has dropped during FY10, there were still more offenders completing drug treatment programs than in FY07 and 08.
  • 2,463 offenders completed a drug treatment course during FY10.
  • Following the implementation of the first ever correctional methadone maintenance program, the Division of Pretrial Detention and Services (DPDS) treated 1,348 detainees, a 25% increase over the first full year of operation in FY09.

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Chronic Care and Infectious Disease Control

  • Infectious DiseaseThe varied chronic care and infectious disease health issues that our inmate population present are similar to that of the general public, generally with higher instances of occurrence due to drug use or other poor lifestyle choices.  The health of the inmate population is a public health issue for Maryland. DPSCS continues to take a proactive approach to monitoring and treating these major health issues, and in FY10 this has created cost efficiencies in inmate health.
  • Our Treatment Services staff, working with the Department’s medical contractors, has also focused attention on infectious diseases like Tuberculosis, MRSA and Hepatitis.  Prevention and control of these diseases is key to reducing both medical costs and affecting public health by stopping their spread.
  • Through early intervention in infectious disease cases and by improving patient outreach, DPSCS has been able to reduce the number of related hospital admissions during FY10 by 34% over just last year, and 44% over FY08.  This reduction has saved an estimated $1.5 million for infectious disease related costs over last year.

HIV

  • HIV graphTo better manage HIV and related health concerns among our incarcerated offenders, DPSCS has focused on an increase in testing, education and staffing over the past few fiscal years.  We have also partnered with Johns Hopkins University to bolster HIV awareness through staff training and education.
  • The result has been a 95% increase in both voluntary and secondary to symptoms HIV testing during FY10 over just two years prior.  The more cases we are aware of, the better prepared we are to actively treat and reduce subsequent medical issues. 

Cardiac Care

  • Training with institutional physicians to conduct real-time EKGs for cardiac care patients, not in immediate need of treatment, has allowed care to be delivered at facility infirmaries rather than visiting emergency rooms. New treatment protocols have also called for periodic exams and close monitoring of hypertension and high cholesterol in these patients as preventative measures. 

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Diabetes Disease Management

  • During FY08, OTS implemented a diabetic disease management effort to gain control over the chronic care needs of the DOC’s diabetic inmate population. DPSCS targeted high-risk diabetic patients in the prison system with poor diabetes control. After initial testing we found that roughly 33% of these inmates were at high-risk levels for diabetic complications including kidney disease, nerve disorders and eye disease or blindness.
  • OTS increased practitioner training, inmate medication adjustments and a system-wide inmate diabetic education outreach program. Aggressively treating diabetes, utilizing a preventative and primary care model, has proven to be a cost-effective method of the delivery of health care.

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Pretrial Alcohol Detox

  • In late FY09 DPDS instituted an Alcohol Detox program for new arrestees entering Central Booking in Baltimore.  The process not only allows staff to treat patients in-house rather than being transferred to an emergency room, but also takes into account the individual’s total health care as they are detoxed. 
  • It was anticipated that the program would only serve a few patients a week, but it saw a total of 1,942 men during FY10.  A female detox program which started mid-FY10 has since served 864 patients.

Reducing ER Visits

  • ER Visits graphAll of the Department’s proactive health care efforts have in part reduced the need for emergency room visits for offenders over the past few years.  From FY07 to FY10 we saw a 22% drop while implementing more effective preventative and primary care.  At a rate of 53 per 1,000 inmates, our emergency room trip rate in FY10 exceeds National Commission on Correctional Health Care standards of less than 100 per 1,000. 

Visits to the emergency room for trauma incidents specifically, have also dropped by 29% since FY07, an indication of reduced violence in our prisons, as well as training provided for institutional staff to perform in-house sutures and x-rays when able.

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Quick Facts

Drug Treatment

  • 30% increase in available slots FY07 vs. FY10
  • 2,463 offenders completed a drug treatment course in FY10
  • 25% increase in offenders treated in Pretrial Methadone Maintenance FY09 vs. FY10

 

Infectious Disease Control

FY09 vs. FY10

  • 34% drop in infectious disease related admissions to outside hospitals
  • $1.5 million in savings for infectious disease related costs

HIV Detection/Counseling

  • 95% increase in number of inmates tested voluntary and secondary to symptoms for HIV from FY08 to FY10
  • Increased awareness and treatment leads to a decrease in spread and disappearance of related symptoms

 

Diabetes Disease Management

FY07 vs. FY09

  • 24% increase in diabetic inmates with sugar levels below seven - levels far less likely to develop complications

Pretrial Alcohol Detox

  • 1,942 men and 864 women treated during first year of operation

 

Reducing ER Visits

FY07 vs. FY10

  • Proactive health care efforts have contributed to 22% drop in emergency room visits
  • 29% drop in trauma related ER visits