Prevention of violence in prison - The role of health care professionals.

Journal of forensic and legal medicine

PubMedID: 26165671

Pont J, Stöver H, Gétaz L, Casillas A, Wolff H. Prevention of violence in prison - The role of health care professionals. J Forensic Leg Med. 2015;34127-32.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies violence prevention as a public health priority. In custodial settings, where violence is problematic, administrators and custodial officials are usually tasked with the duty of addressing this complicated issue-leaving health care professionals largely out of a discussion and problem-solving process that should ideally be multidisciplinary in approach. Health care professionals who care for prisoners are in a unique position to help identify and prevent violence, given their knowledge about health and violence, and because of the impartial position they must sustain in the prison environment in upholding professional ethics. Thus, health care professionals working in prisons should be charged with leading violence prevention efforts in custodial settings. In addition to screening for violence and detecting violent events upon prison admission, health care professionals in prison must work towards uniform in-house procedures for longitudinal and systemized medical recording/documentation of violence. These efforts will benefit the future planning, implementation, and evaluation of focused strategies for violence prevention in prisoner populations.