Prison Health Program Committee

To represent the interests of all CFPC members providing care to incarcerated men, women and youth, their families and communities, including those for whom this is part of their broad scope family practice and those with a special interest or focused practice.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.

This page contains relevant College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) material, web resources, papers and clinical practice guidelines for physicians who have a special interest in to providing care to incarcerated men and women, their families and communities.

Disclaimer:  Most of the materials on this site have come from external sources. The CFPC is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability of application of these materials. Users wishing to verify this information should consult directly with the identified sources. The information on this site does not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the CFPC. 

Preconception & Prenatal Care in 2014
Bonding Through Bars - giving voice to the silenced children of parental incarceration
Healthcare Behind Bars 
Needle and syringe programs in prison: it can be done 
Centre for Mental Health and Risk | Offender Health Research Network
2.314 Jean McFarlane Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL.


Correctional Services Canada 
Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education - Canada
     - Facebook
Society of Correctional Physicians - USA
National Commission on Correctional Health Care – USA

Clinical Resources/Guidelines

Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Correctional Health - USA
Canadian Paediatric Society, "Health care standards for youth in custodial facilities: Position statements and practice points" 

Prison Health Toolkit

1. Focused Topics in Prison Health

2. Prison Health Best Practices – Developing a Tool Box

3. Prison Health Opportunities for Medical Students and Residents
Incarcerated men and women represent an underserved and vulnerable population that suffers vast health inequities, when compared to the general population, with a high prevalence of mental illness and communicable disease. Therefore, Canadian prisons provide unique learning and invaluable service opportunities for medical students, residents and physicians. We will describe varied undergraduate and postgraduate prison health educational programs that are occurring in Canada. We will discuss the impacts of prison health experiences on learners, including the development of competencies in communication, health promotion, empathy and reflective practice. Additionally, we will discuss ways that prison health residency electives and prison clinical practice provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. We will also explore ways that workshop participants might consider initiating prison health educational programs in their local correctional institutions. This workshop will discuss health issues of the prison population, while also promoting opportunities for meaningful education, advocacy and personal growth.

Prison Health Policy

World Health Organization – Prisons

Prison Health Related Publications

Best Advice Guide: Communities of Practice in the Patient’s Medical Home
Canadian Paediatric Society, "Health care standards for youth in custodial facilities: Position statements and practice points" 
Controlling infectious diseases in prisons 
Centre for Mental Health, Drugscope and Alcohol Concern
Good Governance for Prison Health in the 21st Century
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime/World Health Organization
"Health care standards for youth in custodial facilities” Canadian Paediatric Society Position Paper
Health Committee
International Journal of Prisoner Health
Journal of Prisoners on Prisons
Journal of Correctional Health Care
“So, you want to be a prison doctor”
WHO Prisons and Health

All policy and report documents can be found at the Centre for Mental Health and Risk's
Offender Health Research Network

The Health and Social Care Needs of Older Male Adults in Prison

This report from the Offender Health Research Network explores the health and social care needs of older male prisoners entering and leaving prison and current levels of service provision for this group. It also details the development, implementation and evaluation of the Older prisoner Health and Social Care Assessment and Plan (OHSCAP) which was designed to systematically identify and address older prisoners’ needs.

Findings from a mixed-methods programme of research revealed that nearly half (44%) of prisons holding adult males did not have an older prisoner policy. The number of older prisoner leads had increased in recent years but they did not always appear to be active in their roles. There was ambiguity regarding responsibility for older prisoners' social care. The most frequent unmet need on prison entry was the provision of information about care and treatment. Release planning for older prisoners was frequently non-existent.

To find out more, download a copy of the report or contact Katrina Forsyth.

Gabapentin and Pregabalin Offender Health Audit Report and Audit Tool

This report and associated survey and audit tool describe the process and outcomes of an England-wide collaborative audit and survey of the use of gabapentin and pregabalin in HM prisons and Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs). Both medicines are known anecdotally and via some published evidence to be highly sought after by patients attending healthcare for their own use or for trading. These medicines are licensed for neuropathic pain, epilepsy and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and there is NICE guidance for each of these conditions. In addition, the survey explored the medical and pharmacy workforce available at each site to provide a picture of this workforce and whether the use of locum medical staff and access to in-site pharmacy staff influences the prescribing pattern for these medicines.

The audit and survey were designed to provide comprehensive medicines use data for comparative purposes across prisons and IRCs for these medicines and to provide a tested process for replication in the future locally or nationally when analysis of prescribing of other medicines is needed. The audit/survey tool used is also available on the website. This can be used by prisons and adapted for other healthcare environments or adapted for examining the use of other medicines.

For further information download the report or visit the website or contact Denise Farmer for further information. 

i-HOP: information Hub on Offenders’ families with children for Professionals

i-HOP, the national online knowledge hub delivered by Barnardo’s and POPS, is now live on the website. The hub is constantly growing and currently houses over 150 pieces of information about working with children of offenders, including details about: local services, national strategies, practical resources, online directories, funding opportunities and training programmes. Register now and become a member for FREE to receive your monthly e-newsletter and submit your information to i-HOP.

Recent references on prison health (updated monthly)

Prison Medicine Education

A number of prison medicine education initiatives have been implemented across Canada in both provincial and federal correctional institutions. If you are a medical student or a resident interested in doing a prison medicine elective, please contact us for more information.

If you are an educator looking for information on how to establish a prison medicine rotation for medical students and/or residents in your area, we would be happy to share any relevant documentation/experience. Please email us with your inquiry.

The following documents include learning objectives for electives developed for medical students and residents based out of UBC’s Department of Family Practice:

Prison Medicine Elective
Introduction to Prison Health for medical students

Other training programs:
NCCHC Certified Correctional Health Professional Program

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