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June 02, 2005

British Home Office Taking Heat for Offering Inmates Acupuncture

Apparently, some Bristol correctional facility offers Acupuncture to its inmates to calm anxiety, depression, and to treat chronic pain and drug dependency. This has caused an uproar apparently for victim support groups who claim that it's a waste of NHS money and it's a luxury, not a medical necessity. Guardian article here: Link

This is an interesting twist on the common argument over treatment versus incarceration for prisoners. If you can use treatment for drug detox and even to curb sociopathic disorders (be it with Acupuncture or anything else), wouldn't that be something worth investing in for true "rehabilitation". Otherwise you're just paying for that prisoner's room and board for 5-45 years hoping the hard life of prison will make them regret their actions and somehow learn to be more "normal" members of society.

Posted by Admin at June 2, 2005 05:10 PM


When it comes to inmates getting any kind of treatment for their personal discomforts or maladies beyond harsh treatment, most people balk at the suggestion.

Most folk will say “prison is for punishment”, true, however prison is a direct result of the legal process- the rule of law, commit a crime go to jail or prison, but the conditions in which prisons are run and prisoners are treated is not part of the overall arrest, trial conviction process, and thus is subject to a whole different set of statutory considerations. What this means is special interest groups and prison administrators many who are elected have the job of keeping the pulse of the public so they can keep their jobs. The current climate (for the last 20 years) in America has been lock em up and keep em locked up, couple that with our present count down to fascism administration and you get, inmates have got nothing coming to them except meals, clothing and G-d. I should know I used to work for the California Dept. of Corrections (CDC). Now if this can happen in California a State that touts itself as one of the most tolerant and forward looking in the world, and if this can happen in a country which prides itself as being a nation of laws then why not in England?

I believe TCM would work for a whole bunch of inmate issues from depression to domestic violence counseling and plus the inmate population is a captive group (LOL) with all kinds of diseases, you name it and they got it what better group for controlled studies, all races male/female, age range etc.. we are not talking experimentation, but doing what is supposed to work on a group we can track without difficulty. Remember most of these people did not have HMOs or any kind of health insurance as most of them where/are living pretty toxic lives. However we will not see this kind of treatment for inmates anytime soon, because we want to punish them over and over again...because it is personal and for most of us it is our nature.

Victims rights groups have tremendous power and they want their pain to be felt as it should be, however I believe the victims input should only be heard and considered while still in the judicial process but what usually happens is ex post facto revenge, and most of us go along with this "beat em down and keep em down" approach because that is what we think prison should be about. The problem is most of these cats’ get out and guess who they have beef with? All of us...so as far as I can see TCM treatment for an inmate is preventative medicine on a whole other level, because its easier for a former inmate to re-adjust if that inmate has received (within reason) humanities kindness while they are learning what is expected of them on the outside. Just my 2 cents

Posted by: Satya at June 24, 2005 09:53 AM