prisoner, dementia, healthcare for prisoners

Document Type



This Note will give an overview of the political and legal issues that lead to the underdiagnosing of dementias in prison populations and the problems associated with such underdiagnosing. Part I will discuss various forms of dementia that place the prison population at risk, providing general information about both pathology and symptomology of these disorders. Part II will provide an overview of the laws and policies surrounding the healthcare of prisoners and how these policies could lead to underdiagnosing problems specifically with neurological problems like dementia. Part III will describe how the symptomology of dementia, especially for those who remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, will impact the lives of prisoners and worsen or even lengthen their sentences, with a focus on disciplinary problems and parole hearings. Finally, Part IV will provide a framework for addressing the minimal diagnostic needs of prisoners by placing a greater emphasis on routine medical checkups for aging prisoners that include the kinds of basic cognitive tests that are readily available and do not come with high costs.



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