Questions Regarding Communicable Diseases



I have just recently began working in corrections, and I must say that I LOVE it. I honestly was skeptical, but I can't see myself doing anything else. Honestly. I do have a few questions though, that I hope a few of you can shed some light on.

As far as diseases go, we see a LOT of them at our facility. Hep-C, and STI's being some of the ones I see most often. Also a lot of MRSA. Like, I've seen more MRSA there than I've seen in my entire life, in two months. That's how much it runs rampant.

In regards to blood-borne pathogens, and STI's - my question is this: why do we NOT sell condoms in commissary? From a nursing perspective, I want to think that PREVENTION is the best course of action. Sure, the inmates know that sexual relationships are not allowed - but we all know that if they can do it and NOT get caught, they will. They do it even if they know that they will be caught. Wouldn't it be more prudent to sell condoms to prevent the spreading of diseases? I am not naive to the fact that sexual activity (consensual, or non-consensual) happens in prison. This is why PREA exists.

Do we not sell condoms because they can be used to hide contraband easier in your God given pocket? I can see someone shoving heroin into it, and hiding it easier that way. I mean, if there's a way to misuse an object to either create or hide contraband - they will do it. Pen springs? They use those at my facility to make tattoo needles. Toothbrushes can be sharpened into a one time use shank. Literally, these guys can think of anything.

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks! :)

Specializes in Orthopedic, Corrections. Has 5 years experience.

I do not know why condoms are not available in commissary, but I think that you are correct that it does have to with the safety issue. In our facility, every inmate is screened for most STIs and are treated within a month of their stay. We often test, and then if they are positive and have been released, we notify one of our clinics and they contacts them for follow up. (We are employees of the local health department in the facility that I work at.) So our facility does concern ourselves with prevention, just in another way.