Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Overprescription of Drugs
The issues around control and regulation of offenders through medical practice have provoked considerable debate. In particular, much controversy has centered on the extent and ethics of using psychotropic drugs for disciplinary and control purposes in prisons. The use of psychotropic medications as a means of controlling inmate populations is not new. Prisoners in the 19th and early 20th centuries were known to be given “sleeping draughts” to alter their behavior. However, the emergence of the drug industry involving multinational companies, the large-scale manufacture and availability of powerful new combinations of chemicals, the worsening prison crisis, and increasing concern for order and security in prison meant that the prescription of drugs took on a new significance in the postwar period. Prison reports and accounts from ex-prisoners, ex-governors, and prison doctors and other medical workers in Britain from the 1950s and 1960s provided some evidence of the use of psychotropic drugs ...