Windshield Survey of Chesapeake Detention Facility


WindshieldSurvey of Chesapeake Detention Facility

Windshield survey is used to conduct an intensive assessment of aparticular community. The assessment uses the specificcharacteristics of the community to identify problems andopportunities it experiences. The paper assesses the inmatecommunity. A community is defined as a group of people who havecommon characteristics i.e. geographic, civic and social parameters.Prisons are characterized by high level of drug dependency, unhealthyand unhygienic conditions, and poor management of infectious diseasesand other health issues. Health protection is least considered inprisons. The inmate population has a relatively high rate of mentaland behavioral problems. Despite having these problems, inmates havelimited access to health resources and services compared to othermembers of the society (Stanhope, M &amp Lancaster J. 2016). Thispaper is a report of the windshield survey of Chesapeake detentioncenter in Baltimore City.

Assessmentof the community

Chesapeake Detention Facility

Chesapeake detention center, a maximum-security prison, wasestablished in 1989 as Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center forfederal detainees and those with the sentence of death. Theinstitution was later renamed to Chesapeake Detention Center in 2012following the agreement between the Department of CorrectionalServices of Maryland and U.S. Marshals Service. Under the agreement,the facility was to be staffed and maintained by the Department, andhouse only federal prisoners. The facility is located in BaltimoreCity, Maryland State (USA). It is bordered by 401 East Madison Streetto the north, Constitution Street to the east, Monument Street to thesouth and Coast Greenway to the west. The entrance to the facility isoff the Constitution Street. Chesapeake neighbors MarylandPenitentiary and thus functions as a satellite of the Penitentiary.The institution is surrounded by an urban environment.

The facility has a perimeter wall all round, and an electronicdetection system that monitors the movement of the inmates and ensurethat they stay within the cells. There are open space, TV, and phoneswithin the facility. These privileges are provided to the inmatesonly during the day. At night the inmates are locked in their cellswhere they are provided with food. Across the Constitution Street,there are Jail Industries Building and Pretrial Detention andServices Division. Inmates may be allowed to work at the JailIndustries Building. There is a post office towards the southernborder of Chesapeake Detention Facility. The ventilation andair-conditioning system in the prison cells are poor and maypredispose the prisoners to TB and other respiratory diseases.


Chesapeake Detention Facility has a capacity of 511 inmates. However,the population of inmates exceeded the capacity by over 240 in 2012.The increasing population of the facility has placed a strain on theinstitution`s utilities i.e. plumbing, electric, sewage and laundryservices, as well as wear and tear on the stairwells and hallways asthe inmates travel to and from recreation areas. The inmates arefederal detainees awaiting trial. Every inmate has his cell, butthere are occasions where one cell houses more than one prisoner. Thedetention facility houses the most violent criminals. All the inmatesat Chesapeake are US citizens. Communication within the institutionis through American English. All the signs at the institution arewritten in English.

The prisoners are one of the most vulnerable group they areconsidered peripheral in the society. In most cases, they are notconsidered in various programs and activities in the society. LundyK. S. &amp Janes S. (2009) refer to the prisoners as adisenfranchised population because they are separated from themainstream society. They do not have an emotional connection with therest of the society. As a disenfranchised population, they do nothave necessary support systems to enable them to cope with stress andmanage a healthy lifestyle. There are inadequate well-establishedlinks with formal organizations in the community such as socialservice agencies, churches, schools or healthcare institutions.Furthermore, the prisoners do not have adequate informal support fromfamily, friends or prison wardens.


There is a post office at the facility that enables the inmates tocommunicate with their relatives and friends. The administration ofthe facility has not limited the number of visits a prisoner can havein a day. However, every inmate is allocated a maximum of four hoursof visit per month. They can be visited on any day of the week.Transportation of the inmate to and from the institution is through atightly secured vehicle. The actions and behaviors of the prisonersare monitored throughout. Chesapeake Detention Facility does nothave any park and shops.

Services the inmates are offered at Chesapeake Center include safety,correctional services, medical services, psychiatric services anddental services. The medical services at the facility function inidentification, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and other healthissues. The facility has health professionals that engage in thedevelopment and implementation of health policies and plans toaddress health issues affecting the prisoners. The main function ofChesapeake facility is to rehabilitate individuals who were initiallycriminals into productive citizens. Training and education areoffered to the inmates to equip them with skills and knowledge.

Assessingthe health status of the community

Health indicators

The number of health staff in the facility is inadequate to managehealth issues affecting inmates. Chesapeake Detention Center is notable to effectively respond to medical emergencies due to lack of24-hour healthcare service. The prisoners have limited access tohealthcare both inside and outside the correctional institutions(Bonell et al. 2012). The problems that prisoners face atChesapeake Detention Center include obesity, opioid abuse,non-compliance to medication, violence, threatening fellow inmatesand prison wardens, faking symptoms to seek attention, poorhealthcare service provision, unhealthy lifestyle, stress, anddepression (Hermann S., Rohrmann S. &amp Linseisen J. 2009).

Opioids have been abused as painkillers in various prisons around thecountry including Chesapeake. Opioids are pain medicines, whichinclude morphine and heroine. Some prisoners fake symptoms of painand other health issues to get prescription of the opioids (Volkow N.D. 2016). Violence is another major problem that characterizescorrectional facilities. Violence may result in injuries,disabilities, physiological complications and even death of theinmates. Knezevich A. (Jun 15, 2016) reports that violence is amongthe major factors associated with the unhealthy state of thefacility. Violence can occur among inmates or between the wardens andthe inmates.

Health structure

There are several parties involved in the provision of healthcare atChesapeake Detention Facility. The federal and state governmentscontribute to the healthcare provision at the institution. Throughthe Medicaid program implemented by the federal government, theinmates now have health insurance. Healthcare contractor, WexfordHealth, has the responsibility of ensuring that necessary servicesare availed to the inmates efficiently. Psychiatrists play animportant role in the monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of mentaland behavioral problems among the inmates. Supervisors areresponsible for ensuring the effective and efficient running ofvarious processes within the facility. They are part of law andregulation enforcement. Wardens are the closest to the prisoners andthus help in monitoring and reporting their overall health, behavior,and lifestyle. They help in implementing various health policies, andcorrectional requirements.

Health process

The participation of the inmates in local organizations is verylimited, and they do not have any associations and forums with theneighborhood. The communication system within Chesapeake DetentionFacility is usually oral where information may be conveyed toindividual inmates or group. Both formal and informal methods areused to guide the prisoners on how to act and behave within andoutside the facility. They are first introduced to the rules andregulations of the facility during their day of admission. Informalmethods such as isolation are sometimes used when the inmates breakthe rules that define how they should act and behave. There issegregation unit for high profiled cases and protective custody toaddress violence among the inmates.


Chesapeake Detention Center is not in a position to respondeffectively and efficiently to the health issues experienced by theinmates. The detention institutions experience several healthproblems, some of which are long term. Community health nurses (CHN)can help in solving the problems through performing their corefunctions, and by using the three levels of prevention. The corefunctions include assessment, policy development, and assurance whilethe levels of prevention are primary, secondary and tertiary. Theneglect of health issues affecting the prisoners is unethical. Ifthere is no intervention on the problems, the health conditions atthe facility will continue to deteriorate. Effective participation ofthe health partners at the facility will help in the provision ofefficient and effective healthcare.


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