The Florida Department of Corrections is mandated to provide appropriate healthcare to its inmate population. Inmates present with a wide variety of healthcare needs ranging from a minor cold to chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer. Medical doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, dentists and pharmacists provide services to the inmate population.
Inmates receive medical attention immediately in emergency situations and for minor ailments they can be seen during sick call. Each major institution has an inmate infirmary. In addition, the Department operates a licensed 120-bed hospital to provide acute care for inmates. Reception and Medical Center is located in Lake Butler, Florida. Reception and Medical Center also maintains a 28-bed unit at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville for inmates requiring additional care.
Inmates with Mental Disorders on June 30 Compared Over Five Years
Generally accepted epidemiological studies indicated that between 10 and 20% of the mentally ill in state and federal prisons suffer from serious mental disorders. In Florida, about 17.8% of the inmates receive ongoing mental health care.
Mental health grades range from S-1 to S-6. S-1 grade (Normal) indicates no significant mental health problems are present. Inmates may need only episodic outpatient care and/or crisis intervention. S-2 grade (Mild) indicates the inmate needs ongoing services of outpatient psychology either intermittent or continuous. S-3 grade (Moderate) indicates inmate needs ongoing services of outpatient psychiatry (case management, group and/ or individual counseling, as well as psychiatric or psychiatric Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) care). Clinical management may require periodic administration of psychotropic medication, although the inmate may exercise her/his right to refuse the medication. S-4, S-5 and S-6 grades (Severe) indicate inpatient mental health services in a transitional care unit (TCU), a crisis stabilization unit (CSU), or an assignment to the Corrections Mental Health Institution (CMHI).
Over a five year period, the percentage of the prison population without significant mental health problems has remained relatively stable: 84.2% in 2005; 83.4% in 2006; 82.1% in 2007; 81.9 % in 2008; and 82.2% in 2009.
During that five-year period, the percentage of women falling into the moderately impaired category has fluctuated, but shown a decrease the past year: 27.2% in 2004; 33.6% in 2005; 36.3% in 2006; 38.6% in 2007; and 34.7% in 2008.
In comparison, the number of males considered moderately impaired has remained relatively stable: 9.3% in 2004; 9.2% in 2005; 9.2% in 2006; 11.5% in 2007; and 11.3% in 2008.