From Prison Reform Series 15 February 2004
Subject: Prisoner Health Care
Illinois prisoners are being murdered with impunity by means of medical neglect and abuse. The legal liabilities state has created over twenty years by unsupervised use of private contracting for medical care, is enough to bankrupt fifty states. Yet, your focus is fixed upon costs and cost containment. Until quality of care becomes your focus, your legal liabilities for negligent homicides will skyrocket until a class action lawsuit ends murders and injuries.
Start with examination of individual prisoner lawsuits based on medical complaints, over past twenty years. How many were filed twenty years ago? How many last year? What was nature of complaints? What was disposition of these suits? How many plaintiffs died before their suits were settled? How many suits were dismissed due to legal and technical issues? How many of you care about answers to these questions?
Your problem is fairly simple to see, define and solve. It begins with definitions. Health Care: The PREVENTION of disease. Medicine: The treatment of symptoms and diseases caused by lack of health care. There is little institutional health care available in America at any price. Only medicine. Medicine which treats, seldom cures and often multiplies illness in ways no one observes, including patient. Where does name patient come from? It applies to all citizens awaiting medical help. If you want any help at all, you must be patient.
When cost containment of medical care is your primary objective, you must shift focus from medicine to health care. An ounce of prevention is worth ten to one hundred pounds of cure. Prisoners require pounds of prevention, due to a high stress lifestyle forced upon them 365 days, without a break.
Stress destroys immune function. The more continuous and prolonged stress, greater immune destruction. Every prisoner has depressed immune function within six months of entry into your disease mills. You are creating problem by nature of imprisonment itself. You have three good solutions to your problem and there may well be more. If you apply them, you can learn more about true health care in two years, than medical establishment has learned in past century. This can be passed along to your free citizens in inexpensive health care programs. You have a golden opportunity with a captive population to create health care as an alternative to medicine no one can afford or really wants. You can quickly create a health care model for world.
1.Feed your prison population better than you feed your family. You have choice not to eat as you should, but as you like. You pay for poor choices in sickness and disease, over time. Prisoners have no option but to eat what is provided. Super nutrition has been shown to substantially boost human immune function. Super nutrition can most simply be defined as double recommended dietary allowances of fresh fruits, vegetables, and high quality protein, along with access to a wide range of dietary supplements. Supplements such as those commonly found in prison commissaries, but not limited to those.
Dietary supplement costs should be heavily subsidized by state to encourage prisoners to use them. Outlaw all processed foods in dining halls. Cakes, breads, pasta, meats, sugar, etc.. Whole grain products only, preferably organically grown, which will also support a growing segment of Illinois economy, organic agriculture. Fifty per cent or more of diet must be fresh and raw. Temperatures above 118 degrees F. destroy life giving enzymes. Dead food creates dead people and live food, vibrant health. Between life and death, condition is health or dis ease.
2.The greatest nutrition at lowest cost is obtained from raw, live sprouts. Sprouts are grown indoors, without soil or light. From soak to harvest, crops typically require 1 to 7 days. All nuts, seeds and grains sprout to create a new plant. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, are rich sources of protein and dietary oils. Pound for pound, fresh, live sprouts have greater nutritional value than seed they come from or plants they become. Pure water and a few days of regular rinsing is cost of production, plus vertical cabinets or trays required. Sprouts like temperatures between sixty and eighty degrees. Perfect for indoor production. Four square feet of floor space can produce a half ton of super food in one week.
3. With assistance of Illinois Master Gardeners, state lands near prisons can be made into organic orchards, gardens and vineyards which produce a wide variety of foods and natural medicines, year round. These slash costs of health care and medicine alike. They require a fair initial investment to begin producing and save more money every year thereafter, as they expand. The initial costs of superior sprouts are much lower and best reason to start there. Inmate labor can produce further cost savings and many would love to learn basic life skill of feeding their selves and others with health producing foods. Sick people often cost more than they can produce.
4.Apply measures to reduce stress in prisons. Ear or headphones for TVs and radios. Ear protectors or plugs to reduce constant din of daytime living. Encourage prisoner suggestions for reducing stress. Adopt most reasonable.
5.Employ health and medical professionals who are well versed in alternative, natural and integrative medicine and health care. This will quickly reduce medical costs in conjunction with super nutrition. Pay them well and give bonuses for medical cost reductions each year they produce them for you.