Prescription for Change: Access to Medication for People with Disabilities in Jail
Every day in Washington State, countless citizens with disabilities visit doctors, call in local pharmacy prescriptions, and take medications that improve their health and sometimes save their lives. A man with type I diabetes may be prescribed insulin to avoid diabetic ketoacidosis and possible death. A woman with schizophrenia may rely on antipsychotic medication to manage hallucinations or delusions. A doctor may give anticonvulsants to someone with epilepsy to treat seizures. Whatever the situation, people in the community often take for granted their relatively easy access to medication. Unfortunately, being arrested and held in jail can seriously endanger a person’s access to medication. This disproportionately affects people with disabilities, who are incarcerated in jail at a far higher rate than people without disabilities.
DRW's AVID Jail Project released "Prescription for Change: Access to Medication for People with Disabilities in Jail". The report finds that our county jails often delay, disrupt or deny necessary prescription medication to people in their care. Prescription medication is a common and vital part of medical and mental health care for many people, including people with disabilities. By continuing to make it difficult or impossible for people to access necessary medication, Washington State’s jails risk violating the law and, more importantly, causing serious harm and even death.