The importance of attending to a prisoner's medical needs

Much has been said over time about the mechanics of rendering first aid to a prisoner. Hours are spent on how to monitor a subject in your care and custody, i.e. how to determine level of consciousness; how to check for airway, breathing, and circulation; how to perform a body check; how to provide treatment to your level of training; and how to continue to monitor the subject. But, very little is said of why it is important for an officer to do so. Why is it so important for you to provide for a prisoner’s medical needs?

There are four main reasons why it is in your best interest to take care of the medical needs of a prisoner in your "care and custody."

1. It is the moral thing to do

You will need to answer for what you did or didn't do to your agency, to the courts, and to community members who will sit on the jury that will eventually judge your actions criminally and/or civilly. To all these people you want to be viewed as the protector, the helper, the good person doing a hard job. A good person would provide medical care for an injured person – even a criminal.

2. It is a legal requirement

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