Forensic Nursing in Prisons


Nurse’s working in correctional facilities with incarcerated people are troubled to balance the nurturing role of the traditional nurse with role of providing traditional nursing in the environment that encourages noncaring behaviors. Forensic nursing roles in the correctional facilities could easily involve gathering or preserving evidence of crime as these events do happen in prison environments. Hopefully that would not occur on a regular basis in our current prison environments in the U.S, however it is a part of that environment as measured by statistics.

The role of a forensic nurse as part of the Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International can be more clearly seen by me. They would be more skillful due to their specialty training to note signs of mental or physical abuse. A nurse functioning as an oversight for these groups would be in a good position to observe patterns of aggressive behavior by the health care practitioner’s, security staff and in mates.

If a nurse is functioning in the role of observer on the prisoner’s interest the correctional facility staff might not view them in a collegial manner. The security staffs are conditioned to be suspicious of activity and people. If the security does not see the nursing staff as part of the team it could alter the care of the prisoner’s and jeopardizes the nurse’s safety. I personally would struggle with the role of forensic nurse or nursing in a more traditional role with in the setting of a prison. My back ground as a home care nurse afforded me the opportunity to build relationship with patients and progress them in their knowledge of self-care. To work in an environment that necessities constant diligence with checking meds, seeking medical attention out of boredom, and constantly watching everyone’s movements in the clinic environment would leave me in a negative balance of energy. I can certainly appreciate that their work environment, isolation and poor pay scales would make it difficult to retain staffs that are motivated and efficient in the nursing profession.


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