Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is responsible for providing medical
care in the western portion of Texas to inmates in the Texas Department of Criminal
In 1994, TTUHSC began delivering health services to inmates through telemedicine. Today, TTUHSC conducts more than 4,500 prison telemedicine consultations a year for the 32,000 inmates that are housed in the 21 prison units for which TTUHSC is contracted to provide medical care. Before the implementation of telemedicine, most of the inmates needing medical care were taken out of the prison to visit a specialist, hospital, or other facility. Each trip cost taxpayers between $200 and $1,000, depending on the location. With telemedicine, however, many of these trips have been eliminated, thus saving taxpayers thousands of dollars annually. Along with specialty care, TTUHSC provides extensive psychiatry and psychology services to inmates via telemedicine.
Correctional Telemedicine Uses:
- Reduces inmate transfers out of prison clinics for specialty care
- Improves public safety and reduces escape risk by treating more inmates in the secure prison setting
- Discourages false medical claims by inmates, which has resulted in more efficient utilization of the prison medical staff’s time
- Provides inmates with a high standardized level of medical care, thus reducing the risk of litigation