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Turning to telemedicine for prisoners' mental health treatment

Indeed, it's not just prisoners being treated for mental illness who feel a stigma—it's also their providers. "A lot of practices don't want our prisoners," Penn said. "They're worried about the danger." Having providers come to the patients, in prison, poses its own problems. "The providers who are available, they don't want to be driving to a prison and patted down," Penn said. "We've had clinical staff be assaulted or threatened." It's also tough to orchestrate travel between the facilities, which can be miles apart. So since 1994, Texas has had a telemedicine program for its prisons.

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