The United States has the highest number of incarcerated people in the world, accounting for roughly 25% of the world's total population. Texas leads the country for total number of incarcerated individuals in a U.S. state, with 133,772 incarcerated individuals as of 2021. The American prison system acts as a magnifying glass, highlighting how egregious the consequences of America’s failing late-stage capitalist institutions can be. Perhaps one of the more glaring examples of America’s institutional failure is the prison healthcare system. Every year that a person spends in prison cuts down their life expectancy by two years. Hundreds of incarcerated people are killed per year due to medical neglect.There are no federal standards governing state prison healthcare administration, and only seventeen percent of facilities are accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care Standards.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Journal of Equal Rights and Social Justice website on April 3, 2023. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Beattie, Adeline, "The Failing Prison Health Care System: Texas Policy Decides that Chewing is Not a Medical Necessity" (2023). ERSJ Blog. 52.