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Health Care

Doctor examining a prisoner in patient exam room

Health Care

If you are a family member with health care and/or mental health questions concerning a prisoner, please contact BHCS Communications at 517-335-2263 or


Currently, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) arranges for and administers medically necessary health care to approximately 38,000 prisoners annually at 27 correctional facilities and one reentry center. MDOC operates the Duane Waters Health Center (DWH) in Jackson, which has 152 inpatient beds and houses prisoners whose medical needs cannot be met at other correctional facilities within the state. DWH provides acute medical, outpatient, minor surgical care, long-term care, and 54 extended care beds for patients who do not require inpatient care at DWH, but whose needs could not be met in general population.

Health care services are provided to prisoners using a standard of medically necessary care in accordance with court decisions, legislation, accepted correctional and community standards of care, and MDOC policies and procedures.

Bureau of Health Care Services Mission:

The Bureau of Health Care Services’ (BHCS) mission is to deliver health care services using a collaborative model, which leads to improved health outcomes. BHCS leadership promotes patient education, prisoner participation in treatment planning, alignment with community standards, and the use of evidence-based and best practices whenever possible.

BHCS employs approximately 1,300 employees, which includes general health, dental, behavioral health, substance abuse, and optometry. General Health Providers, Optometrists, and Psychiatric Providers are provided through outside vendors. BHCS also contracts for pharmacy services and offsite specialty care.

Our staff is truly our greatest resource. BHCS staff demonstrate the highest standard of professionalism in a very challenging environment, balancing the demands associated with maintaining a secure environment and providing quality health care.

The BHCS operates under the following guiding principles: Protecting public safety, promoting a higher level of quality care, maintaining control and accountability, fiscal responsibility, innovation, measuring real outcomes, maximizing opportunities, engaging in cross-departmental collaboration, promoting staff and prisoner accountability for health outcomes, maintaining community relationships, and developing collaborative approaches to addressing problems and identifying potential solutions.

BHCS Focus Areas

  • Preventative Measures
  • Clinical Outcomes
  • Innovation
  • Cooperation
  • Collaboration of Services

Updated: 11/03/22