Financial resources allocated to health are mainly employed to «medicalise» patients, while poor attention is paid to the promotion of the psycho-physical well-being. This is especially true in the penitentiary context, since the demographical change of the imprisoned population upset the traditional biomedical and reactive approach to care. This paper discusses the gradual ageing of inmates, that is associated with a radical change of their health needs. Comparing the health needs of older inmates, their demand of care e and the supply of health care in prisons, the inappropriateness of the penitentiary health system arises. Drawing from the international literature, some guidelines to reorganize penitentiary health are suggested, such as the empowerment of the inmates and the promotion of their health literacy.
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