Essential Elements of an Effective Prison Hospice Program

Kristin G. Cloyes, Susan J. Rosenkranz, Patricia H. Berry, Katherine P. Supiano, Meghan Routt, Kathleen Shannon-Dorcy, Sarah M. Llanque

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Scopus citations


    As the number of prison inmates facing end-stage chronic illness grows, more prisons across the U.S. must address the need for end-of-life care. Many will likely need to develop a plan with potentially limited resources and external support. This case study presents one long-running model of care, the Louisiana State Penitentiary Prison Hospice Program. Based on field observations and in-depth interviews with hospice staff, inmate volunteers and corrections officers, we identify five essential elements that have contributed to the long-term operation of this program: patient-centered care, an inmate volunteer model, safety and security, shared values, and teamwork. We describe key characteristics of each of these elements, discuss how they align with earlier recommendations and research, and show how their integration supports a sustained model of prison end-of-life care.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)390-402
    Number of pages13
    JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - May 1 2016


    • correctional health
    • end-of-life care
    • nursing
    • palliative care
    • prison hospice
    • volunteers

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)


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