It may seem surprising, but jails and prisons have pharmacies that provide medication to inmates. Many people wonder why jails have pharmacies, and the answer lies in the need to provide adequate medical care to inmates. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why jails have pharmacies and the importance of providing medical care to incarcerated individuals.

The Importance of Medical Care in Jails

Jails and prisons are responsible for the health and well-being of their inmates. Providing medical care is not only a moral obligation, but it is also required by law. The Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution requires that inmates receive adequate medical care, and failure to provide such care can be considered a violation of their constitutional rights.

Common Medical Issues in Jails

Inmates in jails and prisons often have higher rates of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. They are also at higher risk for infectious diseases like tuberculosis and HIV. The crowded and stressful living conditions in jails and prisons can also exacerbate mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

Role of Jails Pharmacies

Jails pharmacies play an important role in providing medical care to inmates. They are responsible for dispensing medication to inmates and ensuring that the medication is safe and effective. The pharmacy staff includes licensed pharmacists who are trained to work in a correctional setting.

Medications are prescribed by healthcare providers who work within the jail or prison system. The healthcare providers evaluate the inmate’s medical condition and prescribe medication as necessary. The pharmacy then dispenses the medication in the appropriate dosage and package it for the inmate. Medication is distributed to the inmate by a correctional officer or other staff member.

Benefits of Having Pharmacies in Jails

Having pharmacies in jails ensures that inmates receive the medications they need to manage their medical conditions. This can help prevent complications and reduce healthcare costs. It also improves compliance with medication regimens, which can lead to better health outcomes for inmates.


Providing medical care to inmates is a fundamental responsibility of jails and prisons. Pharmacies play an important role in this process by dispensing medication and ensuring that it is safe and effective. The presence of pharmacies in jails helps to improve the health outcomes of inmates and ensures that they receive the medical care they need to manage their health conditions.