If you are ever arrested, the booking process is stressful no matter what the situation. This process will feel even more taxing if you have prescribed medications you’re supposed to take at specific times. You might wonder if you’ll have access to your medicine in prison or what happens if the booking process takes a long time.
In this blog, we’ll cover what to expect regarding your prescribed medication during the booking process and what you can do if you need to take certain treatments at specific times.
What to Expect
When you are first arrested and enter prison, several things will happen as part of the booking process.
Confiscation of Medication
When the police first take you to the station and begin the booking process, they will run through a number of steps. First, they will record your personal information, including your name, date of birth, and physical description. They will also record information about the nature of your arrest and charge, run a background check, take your fingerprints, and take a photo of you.
Once they have recorded your identity, the police will confiscate any personal property you have with you. This includes clothes, keys, phones, wallets, and most importantly, prescribed medications.
You should receive a voucher for your property so that it can be returned to you when you leave the prison. The voucher should list everything the police confiscate and include directions on how to get your things back, including your medicine.
Examination by a Medical Professional
In some states, every prisoner receives a medical exam upon being booked into prison. This exam looks for things like tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases. The exam should also make sure you are relatively healthy and mentally stable.
Most medical exams are performed by nurses or other medical professionals. These personnel do not have the ability to dispense medication, including the prescribed pills the police took from you when they collected the rest of your personal property.
Be warned: not every medical exam happens immediately upon booking. It could take a several days or even weeks before someone can see you.
What to Do If You Need Prescribed Medication
If you know you have to take certain medications and the police have confiscated any doses you had with you, use these tips to get what you need.
Disclose Your Condition
Tell the police, an EMS paramedic, or the person who performs your medical exam about your condition. It’s important both for police records and your own wellbeing that the people in charge know about your medical needs and keep them as part of your file. The police in charge of your booking should write down this information in your Medical Treatment of Prisoner form.
Your Medical Treatment of Prisoner form will stay with you throughout the arrest process and give important information to the medical personnel you interact with.
Bring Your Medication
If you know you will be taken into custody, don’t hesitate to bring your medication with you. The police will have to confiscate it, but if you have the bottle on-hand, they will write down the details in your Medical Treatment of Prisoner form. This form includes vital information such as the type of medication, the dosage, and the name and phone numbers for your doctor and regular pharmacy.
If you don’t have your medication with you, see if a friend or family member can bring it to the station. The police have to be able to record the information directly from the prescription bottle with your name on it.
Assert Your Rights
Although the above tips can help you get your medication faster once the police complete your booking, it won’t help much while you’re still being processed. If you feel sick during this time or fear negative health consequences from not taking your medication, ask to be taken to the EMS station.
The EMS station may have some items on hand that can help you, such as oxygen. However, if you urgently need prescribed medication, they will need to take you to a hospital emergency room. At the emergency room, the doctors will be able to get your prescription details from your Medical Treatment form and administer the necessary treatment.
Assert your right to medical treatment and don’t let the police discourage you from seeking the attention you need. Your release will not be delayed because you had to go to the emergency room.
Get Out Fast
While this information can help you manage your medical condition during the booking process, the best thing you can do is get out of jail quickly. Contact a bail bonds company to help you get out fast so you can have access to the medications you need.
Although the booking process can be stressful, there are still ways you can fight to get your necessary medication as you work through it.