This paper addresses the problem of health within the prison using the health quadrilateral developed by Ardigò (1981, 1997). The analysis of relations between the poles of the quad-rilateral (prison as external nature, internal nature, social system, subject) allows a multidi-mensional approach through which highlight the different sides of the phenomenon. We want specially to emphasize the social inequalities to the detriment of the detainees, exacerbated by penal policies that insist on the centrality of a pathogenic penitentiary institution for the health. The transfer of powers by the prison administration to the national health system is therefore likely to be seen as necessary choice, but not enough, even considering the implications of the decentralization of powers at a regional level.
Keywords: Carcere; disuguaglianze sociali; politiche penali; quadrilatero; sovraffollamento; sicurezza.