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Inmate, Detainee, Patient???


I'm working on rewriting all of the policies and procedures for my employer and need suggestions how to reference inmates throughout the policy. I was going to go with "patient" but that doesn't sound right in many of the regular policies. I don't like inmate, detainee, or offender.

These are corporate policies and include jail offenders, detainees and inmates. Therefore, I need a good reference for all of them.

How are they referenced in your policies? Any ideas/suggestions?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!

Orca, ASN, RN

Specializes in Corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 25 years experience.

Ours are referenced as inmates throughout our administrative regulations and medical directives.

The terminology is less important than the content, as long as people understand what you mean.

NottaSpringChik, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

Our company is changing everything to patient, so I hear. There is a move to shift to saying anything but inmate, offendor, etc. I would think we could even use "resident."

In the correctional system they are inmates, in the health care system they are still inmates but are also patients.

I agree that it doesn't matter much what you call them on paper as long as the policy and procedures are appropriate. IMHO


Specializes in Cardiac, ER, Pediatrics, Corrections.

They are called "offenders" in my area.