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Opinion: 'A Short Prison Term Can Easily Turn Into a Death Sentence'

Hope Corrigan writes about the deplorable healthcare experienced by her father, in an opinion piece for The Washington Post. When he was sentenced, her father, who was 71, had manageable but serious blood cancer and an autoimmune disorder.; he ended up dying in custody from poor health. "What we didn’t know as he entered prison was that navigating the maddening world of corrections health care might not be enough to keep him healthy, and that even a short prison term can easily turn into a death sentence — a reality the more than 1.2 million people in U.S. correctional facilities face every day," Corrigan writes.


Every year in prison takes two years off a person’s life expectancy, according to research cited by the Prison Policy Initiative. Care is not readily accessible, Corrigan writes. "In many prisons, including my father’s, inmates must request health-care services through corrections officers who have no medical training, and who often decide whether an issue is worthy of medical care. This means that even minor and nonfatal health issues that aren’t life-threatening often result in needless suffering."

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