Hepatitis common at Washington Penitentiary

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) -- Hepatitis and diabetes are two of the most common diseases treated in the hospital at the Washington state Penitentiary at Walla Walla.

And "meth mouth" is a frequent problem for men who end up losing most of their teeth in the prison's dental clinic.

The prison's Health Service Building was built in 2009 and functions like a typical hospital except for the guards and security precautions.

The Union-Bulletin of Walla Walla reports (http://is.gd/jwiDhz ) the hospital has 46 beds. The mental health wing can house 15 offenders.

The prison hospital is staffed by 50 nurses, three physicians and six mid-level practitioners. It has an annual budget of $17 million to serve the prison's 1,900 inmates.

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Information from: Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, http://www.union-bulletin.com