In this issue of The Journal, Braun et al1 document the increasing problem of tuberculosis (TB) in the New York State Department of Correctional Services. Tuberculosis is not a new problem in correctional facilities in New York. A chest roentgenographic survey conducted among inmates of the New York State Department of Corrections from 1944 through 1948 found a prevalence of "clinically significant tuberculosis" of 1.2% among men and 0.7% among women. This prevalence was significantly higher than that in the general population, which was estimated to be about 0.3%.2 In 1970, Abeles et al3 reported the prevalence of "active tuberculosis" among newly admitted inmates in the New York City correctional system to be 0.2%.
The problem of TB in correctional facilities has never been limited to New York.4-6 In fact, a recent survey of 15 379 TB cases reported from 29 states during 1984 and 1985
Snider DE, Hutton MD. Tuberculosis in Correctional Institutions. JAMA. 1989;261(3):436-437. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420030110041