Vulnerable Population Paper

2555 Words Apr 12th, 2008 11 Pages
Vulnerable Population Paper
Community settings are comprised of different types of populations. Some communities may be comprised of a population of middle-aged individuals, retirees, or single families. No matter where one lives there are also vulnerable population integrated throughout. Vulnerable population is defined as persons with diminished autonomy, those who are compromised in their ability to give informed consent. Groups often identified as vulnerable include children, homeless individuals, fetuses, the mentally handicapped, prisoners, and the economically or educationally disadvantaged. Vulnerability, however, may also characterize students, employees, patients in emergency rooms, and institutionalized persons. Vulnerability
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With overpopulation in jails come healthcare issues for these inmates. Prison overcrowding breaches United Nations and other international standards by causing a situation where various factors such as poor hygiene facilities and restricted living space generally decreases prisoners’ feelings of health and well being, and puts strain on the effective delivery of healthcare. Diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, or other diseases are predisposing before entering the jail system. The health of prisoners are inferior to that of the general population. Prisoners face health and social problems. These health problems may be chronic, acute, or both. Some health problems may include increase rate of health risk behaviors, communicable diseases, and mental illness.
Health risk behaviors are not positive in this population due their vulnerability. The behaviors are influenced by alcohol consumption, illicit drug use, and smoking. One will be able to see the health risk behaviors deeply tie in to overall health and social problem in this population. Alcohol consumption and illegal drugs helped lead to the imprisonment of four out of five inmates in the nation's prisons and jails. Alcohol misuse is a major contributor to crime, disorders, violent and anti-social behavior. The Cabinet Office Strategy Unit’s interim analysis estimates that alcohol-related crime costs society up to 7.3 billion per year. Up to a third of all domestic violence is linked to alcohol.
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