In 1930, the Federal Bureau of Prisons was set up so that more progressive and benevolent care could be provided for Federal prisoners/convicts. Moreover, the purpose behind the establishment of this Bureau was to bring professionalization in the prison service and to make certain that the eleven operational Federal prisons are administered with consistency and centralization. In the present times as well, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has the responsibility of providing custody and care to the Federal inmates that are more or less two million in numbers ("About the Bureau of Prisons"). To cut a long story short, the Federal Bureau of is responsible to lock up federal lawbreakers and delinquents in prisons that are out of harm's way, civilized, inexpensive, and sheltered. Provision of medical care is also a part of the mentioned responsibilities. Thus, the Bureau of Prisons is in charge of the deliverance of indispensable health care to prisoners compliant with appropriate and relevant care standards ("The Federal Bureau of Prison's Efforts to Manage Inmate Health Care," 2008).
The Bureau of Prisons provides resources and finances for the health care of inmates through the Inmates Care and Programs appropriation. The Bureau of Prisons does not have a policy of making financial arrangements by specifying a fixed amount of money for health care services. The Bureau bears the responsibility of providing means and money for the health care services as required by the inmates. In simple words, it makes payments for health care as the occurrences of everyday healthcare expenditure take place ("The Federal Bureau of Prison's Efforts to Manage Inmate Health Care," 2008). The health care services to inmates are provided by the BOP "primarily through in-house medical providers employed by the BOP or assigned to the BOP from the Public Health Service (PHS) and contracted medical providers who supply either comprehensive or individual medical services" ("The Federal Bureau of Prison's Efforts to Manage Inmate Health Care," 2008).
The health care in the cotemporary world has turned out exceedingly expensive. Thus, for controlling this increasing health care cost, the Bureau of Prisons has put certain initiatives into practice with the purpose of providing more well-organized, resourceful and helpful health care to the inmates. The current practices of the Bureau of Prisons consist of a number of competent and efficient initiatives that incorporates the assignment of a majority of convicts to institutions on the basis of the required level of care. The BOP has also installed an electronic medical records system so that the institutions could be connected. Tele-health service has also been implemented for providing health care services through audio/video conferences. In addition to this, the Bureau has also put a bill adjudication process into action so that the costly errors may be avoided when health care-related payment statements can be validated ("The Federal Bureau of Prison's Efforts to Manage Inmate Health Care," 2008).
The professional staff of the Bureau is responsible for providing the required medical, dental and psychological services to the inmates in a competent manner in accordance with the acknowledged standards for a correctional setting. Qualified and credentialed health care providers are being used by the Bureau to work in its ambulatory care units who are assisted by volunteers from the community as well as licensed consultants. Inmates who go through severe medical conditions are given care in a number of medical referral centers that are operated by the Bureau where such inmates are given advanced care. Emphasis is also given on the promotion of health through professional counseling. The offenders are also educated about the medication effects, prevention of contagious diseases etc. The Bureau of Prisons has also set up chronic care clinics where inmates are educated about chronic conditions like hypertension, cardiovascular diseases etc. Environmental health is also promoted by the Bureau which is equal for both the employees and the inmates. Inmates are encouraged to work towards a clean-air environment and maintain a healthy environment in the areas where they live and work. The food service program of the Bureau of Prisons also puts special emphasis on "heart-healthy diets, nutrition education, and dietary counseling in conjunction with certain medical treatment" ("Inmate Medical Care").
The Bureau of Prisons is also responsible for providing a number of mental health treatments to the inmates with the help of professional psychologists and credentialed psychiatrists. It also has the responsibility of providing "forensic services to the courts, including a range of evaluative mental health studies outlined in Federal statutes" ("Inmate Mental Health Treatment & Counseling"). Formal counseling and treatment is provided by the psychologists who either provide counseling to individuals or groups. Moreover, informal counseling is provided by the staffs who are employed in the housing units of the inmates. The institutions under BOP also enhance their psychological services by employing volunteers on contract basis from the community ("Inmate Mental Health Treatment & Counseling").
Sixteen clinical practice guidelines have also been established by the Bureau of Prisons that contain rules and regulations about diagnostic procedures for certain areas of medicinal services like preventative health care, influenza, coronary artery disease etc. A considerable amount of healthcare services are also provided by contractors on whom the BOP depends significantly. The Bureau of Prisons has also formulated a number of mechanisms that are meant for monitoring the health care providers. It conducts internal program reviews for the determination of the proper implementation of the policies described by the BOP. These policies also include clauses concerning the inmates' health. The health care providers are also granted clinical privileges by the BOP on the basis of their expertise, knowledge and experience. Their qualifications also make them eligible to establish practice agreements with the Bureau of Prisons. The BOP also conducts peer reviews so that providers' current knowledge and skills could be evaluated as well. Moreover, the BOP also makes it necessary for every institution to collect and give details regarding their performance every four months. Thus, such mechanisms serve the basic purpose of quality improvement and inmates' healthcare standards. This is done by the identification and corrections of deficiencies in providing healthcare to the prisons. The Bureau of Prison also authorizes specific responsibilities to health care providers that correspond with their competencies and skills ("The Federal Bureau of Prison's Efforts to Manage Inmate Health Care," 2008).
The Bureau of Prisons has also been successful in implementing a number of initiatives regarding prisoners' health care for the reduction or minimization of costs of healthcare. The Bureau of Prisons has done commendably well as it has controlled the overall pace of enhancement in its per capita health care costs in a very effective manner. It is also important to mention here, on the other hand, that the institutions under the Bureau of Prisons have not been successful in providing medical services to the inmates all the time against the expectations of the management of BOP and as described in the standard guidelines provided by the Bureau ("The Federal Bureau of Prison's Efforts to Manage Inmate Health Care," 2008).
The accreditation, certification and authorization program of the Bureau of Prisons provides the opportunity of the evaluation of operations against the standards defined by the government, so that deficiencies can be remedied and the correctional programs' quality can be upgraded to the highest levels. Such processes of accreditation, certification and authorization bring a number of benefits to the Bureau of Prisons including superior administration and supervision, a security in opposition to the court cases through certification and the manifestation of an effort for the improvement of confinement conditions. The mentioned processes also allow accountability increase, public credibility enhancement for both administrations and employees along with a more protected and benevolent environment for both the workforce and convicts. In addition to this, the Bureau of Prisons' three mentioned processes also allow…