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Tackling Communicable Diseases: Preventive Measures in U.S. Prisons

Jul 24, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jul 24, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments


The report is aimed at studying “Communicable disease spread prevention in American prisons”. Notably, communicable disease spread and prevention is a serious issue in the American prison systems, whereby prisoners are often subjected to these diseases, especially Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), through unavoidable circumstances. Generally, regardless of the unsanitary and poor conditions that are prevalent in most American prisons, poor standards of hygiene, unskilled healthcare professionals, and overcrowding are among the major factors that have resulted in high cases of spreading MRSA. Remarkably, in reducing the chances of spreading communicable diseases as well as their treatment, it will be vital to examine ways in which human behavior. In her quote, “…the mind shapes itself to the body, and, roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prisoners and the prison staffs handle MRSA and how they lately prevent its spread. Also, a description of how various scholars document management skills of the diseases by prison staff will be examined in getting a full view of the communicable disease spread prevention. Overall, the communicable diseases, specifically, MRSA, is resistant to most antibiotics can be prevented by segregating all the prisoners according to the infection they are suffering from instead of the crime seriousness, they have committed.


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The communicable disease spread prevention, particularly, MRSA, among the American prisons have been caused by various factors. For a fact, the construction of the American prison was focused on making sure that the prisoners won’t escape on contrary to their health. As a result, the inmates have turned out to be the main breeding grounds for many communicable diseases like MRSA. Worth noting, overcrowding, poor standards of hygiene, and lack of skilled personnel are listed among the many factors related to the raised cases of MRSA spread. This report will incorporate the purpose of the project, methods, and findings of communicable disease spread prevention in detail.

Sections 1: Purpose and Rationale

Purpose and Rationale

The title of the project for the study is “Communicable disease spread prevention in American prisons, about MRSA.” In definition, communicable diseases are illnesses that are generally spread from one individual to another through having contact with another individual that is infected. This research report will include the purpose of the project, methods, and findings of communicable diseases spread prevention in details through identifying and shedding light on ways the present American prison system handles communicable diseases particularly, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, which is also referred to as a contagious disease from Staphylococcus bacteria. The disease is spread through physical body contact with an infected person. Remarkably, a small number of American prisoners as well as a huge number of American inmates have raised the physical contact chances on themselves mainly by sharing benches, clothes, beddings, and other items. Consequently, this raises the spread chances of infectious ailments, in this case, MRSA.

In a fact, the infection caused by MRSA can be treated, although it has been documented by different scholars that the disease has reported cases of resistance to the common antibiotics. With all the measures employed in preventing these emergency department patients with pyelonephritis. Clinical infectious diseases, the truth should not be forgotten that taxpayers are contributing to a good housing of the inmates, for them to be cared for as well as being medically cared for. However, the current improper spread of the disease prevention and the improper treatment, the taxpayers incur the expense of paying double and at times paying triple the amount they are supposed to pay in curbing for the expenses of the medical team for the prisoners in treating same inmate suffering from the same disease.

Hence, the report gives a layout plan on spread prevention and treatment of MRSA incorporating how American prisons should treat MRSA and their current preventive measures of the spread of MRSA. Additionally, the report will describe various scholarly documents in the field giving their suggestions on how staff in the prisons have managed the spread of the diseases. It is believed that these preventive innovative forms will be of help to the employees of the American prisons to have a better view of the disease spread prevention. This will involve the staff having to employ different segregation techniques such as designing the prisons in a way that every room can house inmates based on the infection of an individual is suffering from rather than the committed crime seriousness. For example, if the housed inmates are victims of HIV are put in the same room together, then is no way any of them will spread the disease to another prisoner. This will reduce infection chances and rates in American prisons. Nonetheless, MRSA infection is different from HIV in that it is a popular infection of the skin, although it can be treated, unlike HIV, even though it has shown cases of resistance to the general antibiotics and rapidly spreads amongst the prone population.

Considerably, if all the prisoners suffering from MRSA well all housed in one cell block until given treatments and recovered, this would relieve some beds in the prison systems infirmary, and again it will relieve the burden of the medical specialist from traveling to different locations in giving healthcare aid of the victims as well as stopping cases of new infection among the prisoners. Furthermore, other scholars have addressed the issue of communicable disease spread prevention through researching new treatment options that are not resistant to the disease that would gradually force the staff of the American prisons to work with the newest antibiotics present at the time. This leaves the main question that why would the staff of the prison try more than four antibiotics to curb the infectious disease wasting time and money with a clear knowledge that they won’t work when taxpayers are in a position to pay for the most current and expensive antibiotic and instantly clear the bacterial at ago?

In consequence, the knowledge given in this report will be of help to the American prison employees in combating the wasted time and money, assist in preventing further spread of the communicable disease as well as get a way of maintaining prisoners with good health longer. Undeniably, there exist quite simple and easy ways of disease spread prevention without the inmates being subjected to the hands of some criminals across the world to deal with the issue of overcrowding on themselves, instead of just increasing the size and number of prisons to the present ones.

On top of the above-stated solutions, the research report has given how other individuals, not basically inmates have been infected with and spread MRSA to their fellow people. Markedly, many individuals, for example, corrections officers and prisoners have recorded cases where they carry the staphylococcus bacteria on the skin or on their noses without their knowledge of carrying it. In this case, they do not show any cases of skin infection or do not have any symptoms or signs of the existence of the illness. Worth noting, some unmentioned conditions fasten the spread of staphylococcus diseases in jails and prisons as well as other settings where individuals establish physical contact and where skin damages such as scrapes, scratches, or cuts can be witnessed. This unrecognized setting includes sports fields and swimming pools, which makes MRSA prevention particularly in the American prisons impossible to a given extent thus owing to the MRSA resistance to treatment in cases of infection.

Target Audience

Notably, the audience for the research was primarily the healthcare practitioners, control teams, the infected, and the prison administrators in different prisons in America. The most immediate audience of the target for the research was the Federal Duluth Directors Prison Camp, being the founder of the study. Indeed, the administrators in every prison are entitled to the duty of making sure that safety and good health are granted to all the prisoners. Similarly, the health professionals in all prisons are supposed to make identifications of different diseases the prisoners may be suffering from and consequently give medications according to the level of the specialization. Differently, the infection control groups have the main mission of preventing further cases of spread of Clinical Trials. The Journal of infectious diseases among the general public and the retention areas. Thus, the increased cases of infectious disease spread, particularly MRSA among prisoners have prompted the Prison Camp of Federal Duluth to fund the study with their main aim of getting a better understanding of advanced and better means of handling the issue. As such, all the mentioned teams of individuals and organizations were indirectly or directly connected to American prisons MRSA victims, making their responsibilities and goals the most suitable audience of the target for the research.

Justification of the Study

In a fact, the prisons in America are on the top list in regards to the number of infected inmates with a communicable disease at any time of the year. This is because a huge prisoners’ number in the prisons in America has compromised the health and hygiene standards shown in the healthcare facilities. For instance, cases have been reported where prisoners have to share bedding, raising the chances of physical contact among them. Thus, these circumstances give a preferable room for communicable disease spread, especially, MRSA. For example, in 2005, 5 new cases of spread of MRSA were documented in the prison camp at Duluth Federal, 4000 new cases of spread in the County Jail in Los Angeles between 2003 to 2004, as well as 51 new cases of the disease, spread in the County Jail in Oakland in 2006 to mention a few. Noteworthy, these statistical data show that MRSA disease spread in the prison in America is outstandingly very high.

Another important consideration should be that the high cases in American prisons indicate that there is a high turnover among the general public since many prisoners are set free to join their families after finishing the stipulated stay in prison. Hence, in explaining this point, since the general public has been victims of high MRSA infection turnover, overall there is an MRSA spread in the population of the Americans. Resultantly, this calls for the necessity of curbing the high MRSA proliferation by initially preventing the disease spread amongst the American prisons. Therefore, this research report is on-time because it examines ways of helping the audience of the target in preventing the MRSA spread both to the general public and in the many prisons in America.

Background, Context, and Definitions

The many prisons in America have been subjected to a high number of new cases of MRSA spread. Notably, every prison should be in a position to give each prisoner a place or a room to sleep and space to safely lie down. Nonetheless, a safe place for the prisoners to rest is no longer sacred in most prisons in America and turned out to be a vicious scourge that awaits the prisoners once they live the minute mattresses or sometimes on the floor, which are extremely infected with the deadly staphylococcus bacteria. This situation is a wake-up call for immediate and fast action in changing the situation and through that preventing further infections, the emphasis on examining the MRSA spread preventive measures among prisons in America.


Staphylococcus infection: This is a healthcare condition that shows its signs and symptoms through oozing boils mainly near the genitals, under the arms as well as any other body part that is moist.

MRSA: This is an acronym or the short form of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, which is involved in referring to the infectious disease from Staphylococcus bacteria.

Communicable Disease: this is a health condition with the capability of spreading from one individual to the next through physical contact of the air.

Expose: A presented situation having the potential to cause harm.

Section 2: Plan of Work

2.1 Relevance to Major

The research project was highly associated with public health as my area of specialization. Notably, MRSA is referred to as a communicable infection in the healthcare sector, whilst prisoners are among the members of the public. Hence, a study of MRSA spread prevention in American prisoners has a significant relationship to my file of choice. I have incorporated and read research work from various articles, giving me a deep understanding of what my research project and report should entail. On top of this, I have handled different and cunning matters in the safety of inmates particularly in the setting of our classroom that has widened my healthcare matters understanding in the corrections system. Through this, I believe I have been equipped with the requisite capability and understanding in handling the research project and the report on communicable infections spread prevention in prisons in America about MRSA.

2.2 Scope of Project

2.2.1 Main Arguments/Angles on my topic

The environment of most American prisons provides a conducive environment for the growth and spread of infectious diseases, in this case, MRSA. Markedly, a high population in American prisons has the highest contribution to the hygiene standards deterioration. This is because; the high inmates’ number means the prisoners must share the available facilities and space. In other cases, some inmates share benches, clothes, beddings, and others forced to sleep on top of others raises the chances of MRSA spread through established body contact. Noteworthy, poor standards of hygiene in prisons in America have given favorable grounds for the Staphylococcus bacteria to breed leading to the high spread of MRSA. Other contributing factors to the American prisons MRSA disease spread and development are insufficient ventilation, poor means of attending personal hygiene, as well as inadequate healthcare professional number in giving healthcare to the inmates.

Most importantly, MRSA immunization for its prevention has been poorly administered or received a total ignorance in most American prisons, which means high MRSA spread cases. In a fact, the effective employment of suitable vaccines for inmates can be of great help in reducing the instances of spreading infectious disease particularly MRSA among the prisons in America. Clearly, MRSA has been researched and proven that it is resistant to most antibiotics which are widely used by people, and mainly by prisoners, nonetheless, there are no recognized efforts of coming up with a new vaccines class in America, and particularly in the prisons since that is where the disease is highly contacted. Healthcare professionals, who are given the mandate of providing prisoners healthcare are required to be equipped with the current information in all sectors of healthcare especially in regards to appropriate vaccines and immunizations that should be given to prisoners.

Remarkably, the Infection Prevention and Control Unit (IPCU) in all American prisons is important in helping in the alleviation of MRSA cases in different prisons in America. Significantly, an IPCU that is operational has the ability to bring all its members to the judicial system of correction in togetherness in preventing and controlling the communicable diseases among the inmates. In doing this, the unit will address the entire prison environment targeting the prisoners and the staff that are working in the prisons. In this instant, the IPCU will be forced to come up with a two-fold framework; whereby one of the frameworks will address MRSA development prevention, and the other will handle the prevention of infection to non-infection spread among the general public, staff, and fellow prisoners.

2.2.2 Important Parameters and Key Definitions

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA): This is a communicable infection resulting from the staphylococcus bacteria that spreads through body contact.

Cleaning: This is the act of removing a considerable substance amount that is undesirable like dust, organic material, or microorganisms harboring other microorganisms.

Disinfection: A procedure meant at doing away with an item with the chance of resulting in an infection in an effort of reducing the occurrence of microorganisms such as bacteria.

Hygiene: A combination of practices and conditions favorable at maintaining health and preventing disease.

Prison: This is a facility that is used to forcefully confine an individual who may have violated the set laws or may have committed a crime hence curtailing the people’s freedom in a nation.

Inmate: An individual that is forcefully put under a correctional facility as stated in the law.

Prevention: The practice of having to stop the happening of a given condition

Healthcare Prevention: A set of given measures that are aimed at preventing a particular disease instead of treating the disease.

IPCU: Infection Prevention and Control Unit

PIP: Prison Infection Prevention

2.2.3 Three Major Sources of Information

Primarily, the main and the first source of information was the targeting manual for healthcare workers as well as other staff that was prepared by the health department under the Health Protection Agency. The presented materials provided detailed information on infectious disease particularly on the prevention of the diseases and their control within detention places and prisons in American. Importantly, the article identified massive people turnover in an enclosed setting, areas prone to poor standards of hygiene, overcrowded areas, addresses on the limited enlightenment on prison staffs, and the limited diagnosis facilities, prevention, and medication tools not forgetting the poor decontamination of the environment as being among the top contributing factors of communicable disease spread in American prisons (Health Protection Agency and Department of Health, 2011). Furthermore, the manual had suggestions on ways of immunization, addressed environmental-associated contribution factors, and the IPCU introduction as part of the key measures in the prevention of communicable infections spread in the personal background.

The research by Bick titled “Healthcare Epidemiology” was another source of vital information in regards to communicable infections spread prevention in American prisons. Generally, Bick explored the topic of how to control infections in prisons and jail settings. The author painted a picture by defining prison environment risk factors that raise the chances of contagious disease spread. In this case, the scholar identified MRSA as among the most prominent contagious disease in many American prisons and listed item sharing such as washing floors, skin abrasions, clothing, soap, razors, and clothes by prisoners with bare hands as well as the prolonged incarceration as the major contributing factors to the high MRSA spread in prisons (Bick, 2007). In his article, Bick suggested the standards and transmission-directed precautions in reducing communicable infections spread in the American correctional facilities.

On top of this, Malcolm Bianca in his article “Journal of Correctional Healthcare” was highly resourceful in this report for the research project. Bianca gave structured data on MRSA infection spread rise in the correctional groups, particularly in the United States. According to him, there have been documented cases of MRSA outbreaks in prisons that are located in California, Mississippi, Georgia, and Texas in the past few years. The researcher presented the MRSA drawn lessons about correct settings. Malcolm proposed in his article educational classes for both the prison officers and for the individual prisoners on MRSA spread prevention, improved standards of hygiene, and ways of reducing physical contact amongst prisoners through personal items allotment as a measure in preventing American prisons MRSA spread (Malcohm, 2011).

2.2.4 Study Participant

Markedly, an interview was carried out to prison from Camp Hill Prison, and one of the correctional professors. These individuals were preferred because they had wide experience on the contributing factors that result in high contagious disease spread, specifically MRSA. The research focused on using a guide for an interview with questions that mainly emphasized the MRSA spread contributing factors as well as the effective measure of prevention. Undeniably, the collected data from the interviewed individuals was informative in regards to the MRSA causative factors and the most suitable control on the spread and development of the infectious disease among the American prisons.

2.2.5 Overall aim of my Research

Overall, the objective of the research was mainly on finding out preventive measures to the spread of contagious disease with a major emphasis on MRSA amongst the American prisons. The study was aimed at establishing measures of MRSA spread prevention that were informed through the contributing factors of the high MRSA spread in prisons in the United States.

2.3 Outline of Proposed Paper

Importantly, MRSA spread prevention in United States prisons is the main cause of the resistant nature of MRSA to the common antibiotics of the infected individual when treated. Henceforth, there should be an immediate need to reconsider the MRSA cause as the main problem and then make developments of various effective measures in preventing the contagious disease spread in prisons in America. This report included the following key arguments

  1. The main factors in the setting of the American prisons that facilitates the increased MRSA spread.
  2. Poor hygiene sanitation, overcrowding, and the limited healthcare provisions in the United States prisons result in high communicable disease spread, particularly MRSA.
  3. The ineffectively of MRSA treatment in addressing MRSA cases amongst the American prisons.
  4. MRSA prevention will give the most suitable solution to the MSRA spread prevention issue in the American prisons that will not be limited by the antibiotic resistance effects.
  5. Prisons spaces expansion to increase facility and personal hygiene standards, and training and hiring more healthcare professionals in serving prisoners in helping prevent the growth and MRSA spread in prisons in America.
  6. MSRA education for both prison staff and the prisoners will help in handling future MRSA outbreaks as well as preventive contribution efforts on American prisons MRSA spread.
  7. Inmates immunization should be focused on as a way of improving individual immunity against MSRA contraction and thus curtail the disease spread among the prisoners.
  8. MSRA spread prevention in United States prisons that requires a collective effort and thus the requirement to establish a preventive measure for the infection and a control unit in all the prison settings.
  9. Precautions that are transmission directed should have standardization across all the prisons in America as a way of suitability responding to the disease spread threat in it is witnessed with MSRA.
Task Week




















2.4 Writing/Research Schedule

Complete Prospectus
The first half of the annotated bibliography
Interview with Specialist
Complete annotated bibliography
First complete research draft
Half complete research draft
Second half-completed research
Edit and revise
Final draft

This process of handling the research project in a step-by-step way was by the presented research schedule about the above Gantt chart.

Section 3: Literature Review

3.1 Introduction

The fast MRSA infection cases increase amongst the American prison has recently attracted the attention of various public health staff, researchers, and scholars. Markedly, many researchers have got findings that American prisoners regarding correctional facilities are at a higher chance of playing MRSA victim because they are not given full attention. The current documented research work has shown that factors related to the environment on the setting of the different prisons have given a conducive MRSA breeding ground as well as its spread in the many prisons in America. Scholars have established a picture of MRSA spread increase in the United States prisons with much focus on the facilities physical settings. Significantly, the present research projects were meant to examine the nature of prisons’ environmental risks and the immunization use and the Infection Prevention and Control Unit as other preventive means for MRSA spread among the United States prisons.

3.2 Brief Summary

The physical settings of the American prison environment require undergoing an assessment in an approach to prevent the spread of MRSA. Markedly, the MRSA spread amongst the American prisons has been due to logistical and structural prisons shortcoming. Moreover, limited prison healthcare staff, overcrowding, and limited space in maintaining hygiene standards, and lack of focus in undertaking preventive means have led to the high MRSA spread prevention issue. Thus, the MRSA spread preventive measures should be resolved by looking for a solution to these logistical and structural challenges.

Indeed, the MRSA spread prevention is always a collective task which calls for different stakeholders to combine their efforts for the needed synergy in the fight for the American prison menace. Consequently, the IPCU should join hands using different efforts to fight against MRSA infection spreading all the correctional facilities. This will involve the development of health plans for the prisons in a framework of consultation to have an exclusive scheme in addressing and preventing MRSA spread in the United States prisons. Additionally, increased teamwork to carry out a campaign on MRSA spread prevention can be of help in reducing the instances.

3.3 Synthesis of Existing Research

3.3.1 American Prison Setting as a Breeding Ground for MRSA

As stated by Haysom et al., (2018), the American prison’s environmental settings are open to social issues and subject individuals to risk elements in regards to MRSA spread prevention. Individual-directed status like young age, indigenous status, and congestion are both enduring and difficult to change. An MRSA association section gives a reflection of the poor standards of hygiene in prison settings. The authors of the article indicated that improved standards of hygiene through boosting instances of handwashing, lowering cases of sharing personal items and soaps, increased showering access, skin integrity protection can be of help in addressing the MRSA spread prevention issue amongst the American prisons. O’Keefe and Mullen (2015) indicated that MRSA disease is a popular infection upon its custody admission. The two authors showed that having encouragement on self-laundry can be of help in reducing MRSA infections spread in all correctional facilities. Indeed, in the United States prisons, there is inadequate space for personal laundry which forces the prisoners to practice communal laundry as the only possible way of washing their clothes and their bed linens. To the Federal Bureau of Prisons (2012), communal laundry sanitization can only be possible through raised temperatures of washing water particularly in the water cycle, through adding more chlorine to bleach and help in reducing the wash load from over packing. Moreover, the gloves used by communal laundry handlers in the prisons is the most suitable way that can be of help in reducing the MRSA infection spread risk.

3.3.2 Immunization in American Prisons

Sequera et al., (2015) stated that there are inadequate capacities in vaccination programs use in most prisons with the available limited programs of vaccine emphasizing only on vaccinating against hepatitis B. Resultantly; prisoners are exposed to may communicable diseases of which some have the capability of being prevented by vaccination. Thus, vaccination is the most suitable defense for immunity, which comes probably second after the use of clean water. This makes vaccinations in all prisons vital as the people the facilities get inadequate medical care system access in the prisons outside environment, thus, there is a high risk on people with varying backgrounds, and the overcrowded condition that raise spread and contracting chances of the disease ((Sequera et al., 2015). The American prison’s living standards are in such a way that sharing of items makes physical body contact an inevitable occurrence. In these circumstances, the communicable disease spread of MRSA is thus an issue that cannot be avoided. Administering a vaccine that is MRSA resistant to all the inmates can be of help in boosting the defense of their bodies against contracting the killer MRSA ((Health Protection Agency and Department of Health, 2011). Besides, there have been documented high MRSA resistance cases to the popular antibiotics, which give an implication that there must be a higher focus on curing MRSA spread occurrence instead of putting emphasis on how to treat the contagious disease. Hence, immunization for MRSA will be a preparation of the prisoners’ bodies as well as those working on the surroundings of the prisons in fighting future causative agents of MRSA, consequently preventing its outbreak.

3.3.3 Infection Prevention and Control Unit (IPCU) as a Means of Controlling MRSA Spread in Prisons

The MRSA spread issues amongst the American prison has impacted many individuals, organizational, and departments. Notably, the prison healthcare workers, public health professionals, government agencies, and prison administrators, and other people should take the responsibility in their hands in handling the MRSA spread issue amongst the American prisons. This will entail the IPCU introduction that will help in bringing together every stakeholder needed in handling the MSRA spread problem specifically in all correctional facilities. Again, the IPCU is supposed to work in personal plans of health, through developing plans in a conductive way that will be approved by the stakeholder agencies. As documented by NCDHHS 2018, the Local Health Department Directors are entitled to the responsibility of approving the set prison health plans. This Prison-Infected Prevention group should help the IPCU in handling the coordinating responsibility of monitoring contagious infections that affect prisoners ((O’Moore, 2011).


Bick, J. (2007). Infection Control in Jails and Prisons. (R. Weinstein, Ed.) Healthcare Epidemiology, 45, 1-9.

Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2012). Management of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections.

Haysom L., Cross M., Anastasas R., (2018). Prevalence and Risk Factors for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Infections in Custodial Populations: A Systematic Review. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 24(2), 12-20.

Health Protection Agency and the Department of Health. (2011). Prevention of Infection and Communicable Disease Control in Prisons and Places of Detention: A Manual for Health Workers. Health Protection Agency, 9-15.

Malcolm, B. (2011, July). The Rise of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus in U.S. Correctional Populations. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 17(3), 254-265.

Mullen, L. A., O’Keefe, C. (2015). Management of skin and soft tissue infections in a county correctional center: A quality improvement project. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 21, 355–364.

NCDHHS. (2018). Managing CA-MRSA in Incarcerated Populations. Epidemiology, 3-5.

O’Moore, E. (2011). Preventing, Controlling & Treating Infectious Diseases in Prisons. Health Protection Agency, 12-25.

Sequera G, Valencia S, García-Basteiro L, Marco A, Bayas M.(2015). Vaccinations in Prisons: A Shot in the Arm for Community Health. HumanVaccines & Immunotherapeutics, 11(11):2615–2626.

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