Terry Johnson does not have diabetes but wants to know the signs and symptoms.
"It's something that ran very rampant on my father's side of the family," Johnson said.
Johnson is an inmate at Frankfort Career Development Center, a minimum-security prison off Coffee Tree Road. He got information on diabetes at the center's Men's Health Awareness Fair Wednesday.
Johnson said he also learned about hypertension and its causes. He described the health fair as "great," something institutions like the center need more of.
"It helps guys be more conscious of what's happening inside our bodies," Johnson said.
The health fair was organized by the center's nurse, Deborah Morris. It's her second health fair at the prison.
"This is Men's Health Awareness Month," Morris said. "What better time to have a health fair?"
Morris worked with members of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department to offer inmates free blood pressure checks and literature on topics such as heart disease and tobacco cessation. She said it's important for inmates to be given information about signs and symptoms of health issues so they'll be more aware when they're released.
"There is life after inmates leave the prison center," Morris said. "We want them to be successful people when they leave here."
Inmate John Turner picked up literature at the health fair about diabetes, healthy eating and tuberculosis. Turner was particularly interested in learning about tuberculosis.
"In the environment we're living in," Turner said, "everybody is in such close quarters, it's helpful to know the dos and don'ts."
Morris was working at Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington when she got the idea to have a health fair for inmates from Nurse Service Administrator Gwen Holloman. Holloman, who recently retired, was at the health fair as a volunteer.
"If we can prevent a chronic illness through health education," Holloman said. "It's a lot cheaper to deal with."
Holloman said health fairs help inmates become more aware of health or potential health problems.
Last year's fair had a model of a healthy lung and a model of smoker's lung that looked "God awful," Holloman said.
"That was a big eye opener for inmates who smoke," Holloman said.
Holloman was looking at ways to educate the inmate population at Blackburn when she contacted Mark Johnson at the Lexington- Fayette County Health Department.
"We got together and came up with a health fair for residents and staff," Holloman said.
Johnson is the Health Equity Team Leader at the Lexington- Fayette County Health Department.
"Hopefully this will encourage men to take better care of themselves and understand what diseases are killing them," Johnson said. "Most diseases that kill us are preventable."
Johnson said most health fairs used to be focused on women because they were usually the caretakers of their families.
"Men have been really happy to get information because they have felt neglected and left out," Johnson said.
FCDC Public Information Officer Larry Gray said a health fair for inmates never would have happened 20 years ago.
"At that time no one even thought about checking inmates' health," Gray said. "Things are different now. The mentality has changed as far as treatment to inmates."