Prisons as a Setting for Health

Woodall, James and Baybutt, Michelle orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3201-7021 (2022) Prisons as a Setting for Health. In: Handbook of Settings-Based Health Promotion. Springer, pp. 177-188. ISBN 978-3-030-95856-5

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Prison is a home to some people and a workplace for others. It is a setting with significant interaction with the wider community through family and legal visits, and service provision. Prisoners tend to come from marginalised and socially disadvantaged sections of society, exhibiting a disproportionately high incidence of ill health. Prison is therefore a key setting to intervene for both individual and wider public health benefit. This chapter seeks to explore prisons as settings for health. It outlines the historical developments of the health-promoting prison concept and discusses how the idea has developed over the past number of years. The chapter also highlights some of the challenges and tensions that have faced policy and practice in this environment, including the challenges of translating the strategy into practical action. The chapter provides a case study illustrating the health and well-being benefits of whole-system working, before concluding with a discussion of the future role of prisons as settings for health.

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