This project seeks to reform inadequate prison healthcare services, advocating for the protection of older and disabled prisoners in England and Wales. Currently, the prison system lacks sufficient staffing and resources necessary to secure prisoners' right to health. By providing free legal advice and support through telephone, mail, and face-to-face outreach clinics, PAS will ensure that the medical and healthcare needs of chronically ill, disabled and older prisoners are rightfully met.
People 60 years and older are the fastest growing age demographic in the prison system, yet are often overlooked and underrepresented. This increase creates a need for more specialized, long term healthcare, as 60% of older prisoners report having a chronic illness or disability. PAS regularly sees these conditions ignored, medical appointments cancelled, and treatments delayed, with mental and physical health issues exacerbated. Prisoners' right to health must no longer be neglected.
Through the legal expertise and intervention of our lawyers, we will advocate for prisoner health to be properly assessed, with basic healthcare services, like seeing a GP or dentist, provided in a timely manner. Prisons often lack accessibility for those with disabilities and fail to provide medical services for older prisoners requiring special care. We aim to support these prisoners who suffer from poor health services by ensuring that auxiliary aids, wheelchair access, and specialized care.
Potential long term impacts include: (1) Creating a safe and healthy environment for all prisoners so they may rehabilitate in prison and after their sentence is served; (2) Maintaining a lifestyle post-conviction that is free from addiction, infection, and disability that may be prevented through reformed Prison Health Services; (3) Improved mental health and physical well-being for all prisoners through shorter hours spent in cells, timely medical appointments, and proper auxiliary aids.