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Health impact

Public health, access to healthcare, and mortality

  • (New) COVID and Corrections: A Profile of COVID Deaths in Custody in Texas COVID, Corrections, and Oversight Project, November, 2020“* In one prison, the Duncan Unit, almost 6% of the incarcerated population has died.”
  • (New) Understanding Health Reform As Justice Reform: Medicaid, Care Coordination, and Community Supervision Square One Project, October, 2020“Health system reform built upon the foundation of Medicaid programs can provide many of the health and social supports needed to help people with health problems successfully return and remain in their communities.”
  • (New) Misunderstood and Mistreated: How Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Experience the Texas Criminal Legal System Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, October, 2020“Approximately 14,700 people with I/DDs are currently incarcerated in Texas.”
  • Youth Justice Under the Coronavirus: Linking Public Health Protections with the Movement for Youth Decarceration Sentencing Project, September, 2020“Despite almost two decades of declines in U.S. youth incarceration, The Sentencing Project reveals more than 1,800 incarcerated youth have tested positive for COVID-19 since March, including more than 300 cases in Florida and Texas.”
  • report thumbnail Lives on the Line: Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones and the Impact of COVID-19 Behind Bars Essie Justice Group and Color of Change, September, 2020(Only 7% of respondents reported that their incarcerated loved one had adequate access to basic necessities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.)
  • Medicare and People Leaving Incarceration: A Primer for California Advocates During the Pandemic Justice in Aging, August, 2020“Though access to Medicare benefits is suspended during incarceration, Medicare enrollment rules remain in place. This affects both individuals who turn 65 while in custody and those who were enrolled in Medicare before incarceration.”
  • Aligning Correctional Health Standards With Medicaid-Covered Benefits Marin G. Olson, Utsha G. Khatri, Tyler N. A. Winkelman, July, 2020“Few correctional facilities have formal accreditation, and even accredited facilities do not always meet constitutional requirements.”
  • COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Federal and State Prisons Brendan Saloner, Kalind Parish, Julie A. Ward, Grace DiLaura, Sharon Dolovich, July, 2020“The adjusted death rate in the prison population was 3.0 times higher than would be expected if the age and sex distributions of the US and prison populations were equal.”
  • County-level jail incarceration and preterm birth among non-Hispanic Black and white U.S. women, 1999-2015 Paywall :( Jaquelyn L. Jahn, Jarvis T. Chen, Madina Agenor, Nancy Krieger, July, 2020“Jail incarceration increases non-Hispanic Black and White women's risk of preterm birth.”
  • Incarceration Weakens a Community's Immune System: Mass Incarceration and COVID-19 Cases in Milwaukee Preliminary Results Measures for Justice, June, 2020“The number of incarcerations is a strong predictor of the number of COVID-19 cases above and beyond the effect of other predictors in the model, including poverty, unemployment, and population not in the labor force.”
  • report thumbnail Failing Grades: States' Responses to COVID-19 in Jails & Prisons Prison Policy Initiative and ACLU, June, 2020“Despite all of the information, voices calling for action, and the obvious need, state responses ranged from disorganized or ineffective, at best, to callously nonexistent at worst.”
  • No Excuses: Governors Must Pursue Decarceration Along With Investments in Reentry Services The Justice Collaborative Institute, June, 2020“Meaningful reentry services are available and can be expanded by building upon a large network of existing programs.”
  • States Must Do More to Protect Youth Behind Bars During COVID-19 Pandemic Youth First Initiative, May, 2020“Overall, we found that few states reported any public information, data or actions to protect youth during the COVID-19 pandemic and only a handful of states publicly reported actions to adequately protect youth.”
  • Improving Health Equity for Women Involved in the Criminal Legal System Golembeski et al., May, 2020“We delineate reproductive health and motherhood, aging in prison, and reentry as critical areas exemplifying women's complex health-related needs, which may be best addressed via gender-responsive and trauma-informed care.”
  • Helping People Transition From Incarceration to Society During a Pandemic Health in Justice Action Lab, Data for Progress, and the Justice Collaborative Institute, May, 2020“66% of respondents, including 61% of those identifying as Republican, support a program that would help those reentering society obtain work, training and/ or education to ensure they are able to provide for themselves.”
  • Examining the Relationship Between Incarceration and Population Health: The Roles of Region and Urbanicity Paywall :( Robert R. Weidner and Jennifer Schultz, May, 2020“Results indicate that level of incarceration has a detrimental effect on both mortality (i.e., premature death) and morbidity (i.e., self-reported health), and that these effects are more pronounced in rural and Southern counties.”
  • Limiting COVID-19 Transmission and Mitigating the Adverse Consequences of a COVID-19 Outbreak in Correctional Settings: RELEASE * COHORT * TEST AMEND & Berkeley School of Public Health, May, 2020“As the COVID-19 epidemic sweeps into correctional institutions around the nation, these critical actions must be urgently prioritized by system and political leaders in order to avert a health and humanitarian disaster among incarcerated people...”
  • (New) Hepatitis C Litigation: Healing Inmates as a Public Health Strategy Robert Katz, April, 2020“When an inmate HCV lawsuit brings about the universal treatment of infected inmates, it simultaneously vindicates the inmates' Eighth Amendment rights and maximally advances the public health goal of eradicating HCV. I”
  • Recommendations for Rapid Release and Reentry During the COVID-19 Pandemic NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management, April, 2020“[The assumptions and recommendations in this report] provide guidance to agencies supporting rapid release from incarceration and community reentry in response to COVID-19.”
  • Modeling COVID-19 and impacts on U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities, 2020 Irvine et al., April, 2020“Preventing the rapid spread necessitates intervention measures such as granting ICE detainees widespread release from an unsafe environment by returning them to the community.”
  • report thumbnail How prepared are state prison systems for a viral pandemic? Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2020“Most prisons are still aiming to keep the virus out of their facilities, rather than focusing on how to minimize the harm to incarcerated people, to their staff and to society as a whole”
  • Physical Health and Disability Among U.S. Adults Recently on Community Supervision Paywall :( Tyler N. A. Winkelman, Michelle S. Phelps, Kelly Lyn Mitchell, Latasha Jennings, and Rebecca J. Shlafer, April, 2020“Compared to the general population, adults recently on community supervision were significantly more likely to report fair or poor health, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis B or C, one or more chronic conditions, and any disability.”
  • Rikers 6-A Early Release Program: Results After One Month of Operations Center for Court Innovation, April, 2020“After one month of operations, only 7 of the 312 released individuals--2.2 percent--have been re-arrested while in the program. Of these, 4 were for alleged misdemeanor offenses.”
  • Policing in a Time of Pandemic: Recommendations for Law Enforcement Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and Georgetown Law Innovative Policing Program, April, 2020“Traditional law enforcement practices such as stops, searches, and arrests currently create a substantial risk of infection for police, suspects and community members alike.”
  • Flattening the Curve: Why Reducing Jail Populations Is Key to Beating COVID-19 ACLU, Washington State University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Tennessee, April, 2020“Models projecting total U.S. fatalities to be under 100,0001 may be underestimating deaths by almost another 100,000 if we continue to operate jails as usual.”
  • Hundreds are still jailed for technical parole violations in NYC, which means decarceration is happening far too slowly Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2020“As of April 22nd, there were still 293 people held in NYC jails for technical parole violations:”
  • Protecting Rural Jails from Coronavirus Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative, April, 2020“Our analysis shows that a significant percentage of people being held in jails--12% nationally and over a third in some states--are housed in counties without any ICU beds.”
  • Post-release mortality among persons hospitalized during their incarceration Paywall :( David L. Rosen, Andrew L. Kavee, Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, April, 2020“People hospitalized during incarceration constitute a particularly vulnerable, yet relatively easily identifiable priority population to focus health interventions supporting continuity of care following prison release.”
  • report thumbnail Since you asked: Is social distancing possible behind bars? Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2020“The short answer is no - social distancing is even harder behind bars than in nursing homes or on cruise ships.”
  • Contraception need and available services among incarcerated women in the United States: a systematic review Mishka S. Peart & Andrea K. Knittel, March, 2020“Incarcerated women desire access to standard and emergency contraception from carceral health care systems.”
  • Five ways the criminal justice system could slow the pandemic Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2020“Given the toll COVID-19 has already taken on our jails and prisons, as well as our society at large, the time is now for federal, state, and local officials to put public health before punishment.”
  • Mortality in State and Federal Prisons, 2001-2016 Bureau of Justice Statistics, February, 2020“The number of deaths in state prisons rose 1.3% from 2015 to 2016 (from 3,682 to 3,729), while the number of deaths in federal prisons fell 15% (from 455 to 388).”
  • Mortality in Local Jails, 2000-2016 Bureau of Justice Statistics, February, 2020“From 2006 to 2016, suicide was the leading single cause of death in local jails each year; it accounted for nearly a third of jail deaths in 2016 (31%).”
  • Health Behaviors and Outcomes Associated With Personal and Family History of Criminal Justice System Involvement, New York City, 2017 Paywall :( Maria Baquero, Kimberly Zweig, and Sharon B. Meropol, January, 2020“New York City adults with personal or family CJS involvement, or both, were more likely to report adverse health outcomes and behaviors.”
  • County Jail Incarceration Rates and County Mortality Rates in the United States, 1987-2016 Sandhya Kajeepeta, Caroline G. Rutherford, Katherine M. Keyes, Abdulrahman M. El-Sayed, and Seth J. Prins, January, 2020“Within-county increases in jail incarceration rates are associated with increases in subsequent mortality rates after adjusting for important confounders.”
  • Mass incarceration and public health: the association between black jail incarceration and adverse birth outcomes among black women in Louisiana Lauren Dyer, Rachel Hardeman, Dovile Vilda, Katherine Theall & Maeve Wallace, December, 2019(This analysis of births among black women in Louisiana demonstrated that higher parish-level incarceration prevalence for black individuals were associated with significantly greater risks for preterm birth among parish residents.)
  • We know how to prevent opioid overdose deaths for people leaving prison. So why are prisons doing nothing? Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2019“Proven treatments for opioid use disorders exist -- they just aren't accessible to people in and recently released from prison.”
  • Prisons neglect pregnant women in their healthcare policies Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2019“Our 50-state survey finds that in spite of national standards, most states lack important policies on prenatal care and nutrition for pregnant women.”
  • Association of Punitive and Reporting State Policies Related to Substance Use in Pregnancy With Rates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Laura J. Faherty, Ashley M. Kranz, Joshua Russell-Fritch, et al., November, 2019(Punitive policies related to substance use in pregnancy were not associated with a reduction in (neonatal abstinence syndrome) NAS rates, and in fact, these policies may have been associated with an increase in rates of NAS.)
  • Incarceration Exposure and Maternal Food Insecurity During Pregnancy: Findings from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), 2004-2015 Paywall :( Alexander Testa and Dylan B. Jackson, October, 2019“Exposure to incarceration either personally or vicariously through a partner is associated with a 165% increase in the odds of food insecurity.”
  • Acute Care for Patients Who Are Incarcerated: A Review Paywall :( Lawrence A. Haber, Hans P. Erickson, Sumant R. Ranji, et al, September, 2019“Patients who are incarcerated have a protected right to health care but may experience exceptions to physical comfort, health privacy, and informed decision-making in the acute care setting.”
  • Age-Standardized Mortality of Persons on Probation, in Jail, or in State Prison and the General Population, 2001-2012 Paywall :( Christopher Wildeman, Alyssa W. Goldman, and Emily A. Wang, August, 2019“Persons on probation died at a rate 3.42 times higher than persons in jail, 2.81 times higher than persons in state prison, and 2.10 times higher than the general US population.”
  • Examining the relationship between U.S. incarceration rates and population health at the county level Robert R. Weidner and Jennifer Schultz, August, 2019“Results of our analyses indicate that higher levels of incarceration are associated with higher levels of both morbidity (percentage reporting fair or poor health) and mortality (life expectancy).”
  • Drug use in the year after prison Paywall :( Bruce Western, Jessica T. Simes, August, 2019“Results suggest that in a Medicaid expansion state where health coverage is widely provided to people leaving prison, formerly-incarcerated men and women use medications, not illegal drugs, to address their health needs.”
  • The Influence of Familial Social Support on Physical Health During Reentry Paywall :( Chantal Fahmy and Danielle Wallace, August, 2019“The results suggest that social support has important repercussions on one's physical health and thus success at reintegration.”
  • The Effect of Public Health Insurance on Criminal Recidivism Erkmen Giray Aslim, Murat C. Mungan, Carlos Navarro, and Han Yu, July, 2019“Exploiting administrative data on prison spells, we show that the ACA Medicaid coverage expansion significantly reduces the probability of returning to prison for violent and public order crimes among multi-time reoffenders.”
  • Decreasing HIV transmissions to African American women through interventions for men living with HIV post-incarceration: An agent-based modeling study Adams et al., July, 2019“Interventions to improve care engagement and decrease sexual risk behaviors post-incarceration for men living with HIV have the potential to decrease HIV incidence within African American heterosexual networks.”
  • Preventing Suicide and Self-Harm in Jail: A Sentinel Events Approach Vera Institute of Justice, July, 2019“Research and guidance from experts demonstrate that it is possible to forestall suicides in custody with a comprehensive suicide prevention program.”
  • Incarceration and opioid withdrawal: The experiences of methadone patients and out-of-treatment heroin users Mitchell et al., June, 2019(Withdrawal is infrequently treated and represents a lost opportunity to engage or retain heroin addicted individuals in treatment and thereby reduce their risk for HIV, for overdose deaths, and for recidivism to drug use and crime.)
  • Not in my Exam Room: How U.S. Immigration Enforcement Is Obstructing Medical Care Physicians for Human Rights, June, 2019“Public health research has documented widening racial and ethnic health disparities as a result of punitive and discriminatory immigration enforcement practices within the militarized border zone.”
  • Linkages Between Incarceration and Health Michael Massoglia and Brianna Remster, May, 2019“Incarceration is associated with worse health for all formerly incarcerated persons compared with never incarcerated persons.”
  • Pregnancy Outcomes in US Prisons, 2016-2017 Sufrin et al., March, 2019“Overall, 1396 pregnant women were admitted to prisons; 3.8% of newly admitted women and 0.6% of all women were pregnant in December 2016.”
  • Criminal Justice Contact and Health Service Utilization among Women across Health Care Settings: Analyzing the Role of Arrest Paywall :( Kathryn M. Nowotny, Anastasiia Kuptsevych-Timmer, Carrie Oser, March, 2019“Specifically, women recently arrested are hospitalized and seek care at the emergency department at higher rates than non-recently arrested women and this may be associated with their vulnerable mental and behavioral health status.”
  • Persistent and aggressive interactions with the police: potential mental health implications J.L. Hirschtick et al., February, 2019(Men reporting a high number of lifetime police stops have three times greater odds of current PTSD symptoms compared with men who did not report high lifetime police stops, even after adjusting for a range of factors.)
  • Promoting Reentry Success Through Increased Access to Social Security Benefit American Jail Association, February, 2019“Jails that connect people experiencing disabling health conditions to Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits programs can see significant reductions in recidivism rates.”
  • Associations between sex work laws and sex workers' health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of quantitative and qualitative studies Lucy Platt et al., December, 2018“The public health evidence clearly shows the harms associated with all forms of sex work criminalization, including regulatory systems, which effectively leave the most marginalized, and typically the majority of, sex workers outside of the law.”
  • Potential drivers of HIV acquisition in African-American women related to mass incarceration: An agent-based modelling study Joella Adams et al., December, 2018“Using Philadelphia as a case study, we found that the mass incarceration of African American men can substantially increase the number of HIV transmissions to African American women within the community.”
  • Expanding Medicaid Access to Halfway House Residents: Early Qualitative Findings from Connecticut's Experience Urban Institute, December, 2018“Residents no longer have to contend with their fears of returning to the medical unit of a correctional facility for care, and they perceive that Medicaid gives them access to their choice of higher-quality providers.”
  • A Public Health Strategy for the Opioid Crisis Saloner et al., November, 2018“A tough-on-crime approach has a high likelihood of backfiring: overzealous law enforcement can lead fewer people to come forward when their companions are overdosing, thereby increasing health risks.”
  • Avoiding the Runaround: The Link Between Cultural Health Capital and Health Management Among Older Prisoners Paywall :( Meghan A. Novisky, July, 2018“Findings show that older prisoners make deliberate choices to protect their health from the constraints and deprivations inherent in their carceral lives.”
  • The High Costs of Low Risk: The Crisis of America's Aging Prison Population The Osborne Association, May, 2018
  • Integrated Health Care and Criminal Justice Data Viewing the Intersection of Public Safety, Public Health, and Public Policy Through a New Lens: Lessons from Camden, NJ Harvard Kennedy School, April, 2018(This study suggests that we should shift from reacting to immediate health & crime crises as distinct events to focusing on holistic approaches that result in better individual outcomes, increased public safety, and reduced system costs.)
  • The Detention and Forced Medical Treatment of Pregnant Women: A Human Rights Perspective American Constitution Society, March, 2018(This report argues that laws authorizing the detention and forced medical treatment of pregnant women suspected of drug or alcohol abuse violate human rights standards and are a mistaken legal response to address individual and public health issues.)
  • Keeping Kids and Parents Together: A Healthier Approach to Sentencing in Louisiana Human Impact Partners, March, 2018“In this report, we evaluate the health and equity impacts of Primary Caretaker legislation in the state of Louisiana. If passed, this legislation would expand the ability to set community-based sentences for parents.”
  • Jails: Inadvertent Health Care Providers: How county correctional facilities are playing a role in the safety net The Pew Charitable Trusts, January, 2018(This report examines two ways in which jails can deliver healthcare more effectively: by providing high-value care within their walls and by facilitating well-designed health handoffs to community providers at re-entry.)
  • Racial disparities in health conditions among prisoners compared with the general population Kathryn M. Nowotny, Richard G. Rogers, Jason D. Boardman, December, 2017“The incarcerated population generally has worse health than the noninstitutionalized population, especially for hypertension, heart problems, asthma, kidney problems, stroke, arthritis, and cancer.”
  • How the Criminalization of Pregnancy Robs Women of Reproductive Autonomy Michele Goodwin, November, 2017“More than one-third of states consider pregnant women's illicit drug use a form of child abuse, resulting in unprecedented forms of criminal and civil punishment”
  • Injuries associated with bunk beds that occur in jail Randall T. Lodera and Jocelyn Cole Young, October, 2017“Jails account for 29% of all bunk bed injuries resulting in an ED visit in the USA (for people age 10 and over). Addressing this problem will require a multidisciplinary approach involving medicine, material engineering, and criminal justice.”
  • Prison Health Care: Costs and Quality The Pew Charitable Trust, October, 2017(This report paint a comprehensive picture of how states fund and deliver prison health care, how they compare with one another, and some reasons for differences.)
  • The parallel epidemics of incarceration & HIV in the Deep South Prison Policy Initiative, September, 2017“HIV disproportionately impacts communities that are already marginalized by poverty, inadequate resources, discrimination -- and mass incarceration.”
  • Forensic Patients in State Psychiatric Hospitals: 1999-2016 National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, September, 2017“The results from this study indicate that, over a little less than two decades, states have seen an increase in the number of forensic patients who are present in their state hospitals.”
  • Prisoners in Ohio's Execution List Defined By Intellectual Impairment, Mental Illness, Trauma, and Young Age Fair Punishment Project, August, 2017“Ohio is poised to violate constitutional limitations by scheduling the executions of nearly a dozen individuals with devastating impairments, including mental illnesses, childhood abuse, and intellectual disabilities.”
  • Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Use of Restrictive Housing for Inmates with Mental Illness U.S. Department of Justice, July, 2017“BOP Policies Do Not Adequately Address the Confinement of Inmates with Mental Illness in RHUs, and the BOP Does Not Sufficiently Track or Monitor Such Inmates”
  • Neither Justice nor Treatment: Drug Courts in the United States Physicians for Human Rights, June, 2017“Overall, PHR found that drug courts largely failed at providing treatment to those who truly needed it, and filled up limited treatment spaces with court-mandated patients who didn't always need the care.”
  • Incarceration shortens life expectancy Prison Policy Initiative, June, 2017“Each year in prison takes 2 years off an individual's life expectancy. With over 2.3 million people locked up, mass incarceration has shortened the overall U.S. life expectancy by 5 years.”
  • BJS report: Drug abuse and addiction at the root of 21% of crimes Prison Policy Initiative, June, 2017“More than half of the state prison population and two-thirds of the sentenced jail population report drug dependence or abuse, compared to just 5% of the adult general population.”
  • America's Toxic Prisons: The Environmental Injustices of Mass Incarceration Earth Island Journal and Truthout, June, 2017“The toxic impact of prisons extends far beyond any individual prison, or any specific region in the United States. Mass incarceration in the US impacts the health of prisoners, prison-adjacent communities, and local ecosystems from coast to coast.”
  • Using Time to Reduce Crime: Federal Prisoner Survey Results Show Ways to Reduce Recidivism Families Against Mandatory Minimums, May, 2017“An estimated 45 percent of federal prisoners have mental health and behavioral problems...Two-thirds of prisoners who responded to our survey said they had not received mental or behavioral health counseling while in federal prison.”
  • When did prisons become acceptable mental healthcare facilities? Stanford Law School Three Strikes Project, May, 2017“While the overall state prison population has decreased dramatically, the number of prisoners with mental illness continues to climb and is expected grow in the years ahead.”
  • Criminalizing Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the USA Amnesty International, May, 2017“Often known as "fetal assault", "chemical endangerment" or "personhood" laws, these measures have been used to arrest and prosecute women who experience pregnancy complications and conditions such as drug dependence.”
  • Unpacking the connections between race, incarceration, and women's HIV rates Prison Policy Initiative, May, 2017“If it weren't for the racial disparity in male incarceration rates, Black women would have lower rates of HIV infection than white women.”
  • The steep cost of medical co-pays in prison puts health at risk Wendy Sawyer, Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2017“In Michigan, it would take over a week to earn enough for a single $5 co-pay, making it the free world equivalent of over $300. In 13 states co-pays are equivalent to charging minimum wage workers more than $200.”
  • Mass incarceration, public health, and widening inequality in the USA Christopher Wildeman, Emily A Wang, April, 2017“Soaring incarceration since the mid-1970s has profoundly affected health in the USA, especially in poor and minority communities.”
  • A Crisis in Search of Data: The Revolving Door of Serious Mental Illness in Super Utilization Treatment Advocacy Center, April, 2017“National or state-level data that quantify the role and cost of individuals with serious mental illness on law enforcement, corrections, emergency medical or homelessness services do not exist. ”
  • Food for thought: Prison food is a public health problem Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2017“Administrators looking to save a few cents per meal have traded a healthy food service program for processed foods that make incarcerated people sick.”
  • An Examination of Care Practices of Pregnant Women Incarcerated in Jail Facilities in the United States C. M. Kelsey, Nickole Medel, Carson Mullins, Danielle Dallaire, Catherine Forestell, February, 2017(In this first study to examine practices in regional jails nationwide, we found evidence that standards of care guidelines to improve health and well-being of pregnant incarcerated women are not being followed in many facilities.)
  • Unlocking solitary confinement: Ending Extreme Isolation in Nevada State Prisons The ACLU of Nevada, Solitary Watch, Nevada Disability Advocacy & Law Center, February, 2017“In this report, we found that solitary confinement is, in fact, widely used in the state of Nevada, often for prolonged periods of time, and that many of the people held there are denied basic human needs like daily exercise and sufficient medical care.”
  • A New Normal: Helping the Criminal Justice System Address Opioid Overdoses Vera Institute of Justice, February, 2017“[O]ver the last decade communities and public officials have increasingly called for an approach to drug use that employs harm reduction principles, making the issue a public health concern rather than one to be managed by the criminal justice system.”
  • The Death Penalty in Five Florida Counties: Disproportionately Used Against Persons with Significant Mental Impairments Fair Punishment Project, January, 2017“These findings have raised a legitimate question as to whether Florida's capital punishment scheme-even one with a unanimous jury requirement- is capable of limiting application of the death penalty to the most culpable offenders.”
  • The life-threatening reality of short jail stays Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2016“Suicide continues to be the leading cause of death in local jails.”
  • Health Insurance Trends and Access to Behavioral Healthcare Among Justice-Involved Individuals--United States, 2008-2014 Tyler N. A. Winkelman et al., December, 2016(High uninsurance rates, lack of care coordination, and poor access to high quality behavioral health treatment are critical public health issues given the prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders among justice-involved individuals.)
  • We are not disposable: The Toxic Impacts of Prisons and Jails Californians United for a Responsible Budget, October, 2016“Pollution and environmental degradation created by prisons and jails exacerbate public health risks for not only incarcerated people but also for the local communities where detention facilities are sited.”
  • Correcting Food Policy in Washington Prisons: How the DOC Makes Healthy Food Choices Impossible for Incarcerated People & What Can Be Done Prison Voice Washington, October, 2016“When the Department of Corrections turned over responsibility for food services to Correctional Industries (CI)...it substituted 95% industrialized, plastic-wrapped, sugar-filled "food products" for locally prepared healthy food.”
  • Locked Up and Locked Down: Segregation of Inmates with Mental Illness Anna Guy, Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities Prison Project, September, 2016“[Protection and Advocacy Agencies] have received countless reports of abuse and neglect of inmates in segregation, including prolonged isolation, deplorable conditions, inadequate care, increased self-harm and suicide attempts, and even death.”
  • Texas Custodial Death Report Police, jail, and prison deaths 2005-2015 Texas Justice Initiative, July, 2016(This report examines who is dying in the Texas criminal justice system and how they are dying.)
  • National Survey of Prison Health Care: Selected Findings U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, July, 2016“This report presents selected findings on the provision of health care services in U.S. state prisons.”
  • Breaking Promises: Violations of the Massachusetts Pregnancy Standards & Anti-Shackling Law The Prison Birth Project and Prisoners' Legal Services of Massachusetts, May, 2016“Far too often Massachusetts prisons and jails violate the law in both policy and practice, undermining the public will and subjecting pregnant women to illegal, unsafe, and degrading treatment.”
  • Collateral Damage: The Health Effects of Invasive Police Encounters in New York City Abigail A. Sewell and Kevin A. Jefferson, April, 2016“It shows that, holding constant crime levels, segregation measures, and known sociodemographic correlates of health, community-level Terry stop patterns associate with individual-level illness.”
  • Assessing Inmate Cause of Death: Deaths in Custody Reporting Program and National Death Index Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2016“The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has collected data annually on inmates who died in state prison and local jail and the circumstances surrounding these deaths since...2000.”
  • Paying the Price: Failure to Deliver HIV Services in Lousiana Parish Jails Human Rights Watch, 2016“The state of Louisiana is 'ground zero' for the dual epidemics of HIV and incarceration.”
  • Breaking the Silence: Civil and Human Rights Violations Resulting from Medical Neglect and Abuse of Women of Color in Los Angeles County Jails Dignity and Power Now, August, 2015“This Report by Dignity and Power Now ("DPN") documents how jail and prison officials violated the rights of seven women of color, and highlights the mental health consequences of the medical neglect and abuse these women suffered.”
  • Callous and Cruel: Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons Human Rights Watch, May, 2015“This 127-page report details incidents in which correctional staff have deluged prisoners with painful chemical sprays, shocked them with powerful electric stun weapons, and strapped them for days in restraining chairs or beds.”
  • Arrest-Related Deaths Program: Data Quality Profile Bureau of Justice Statistics, March, 2015“Data from the ARD represent a national accounting of persons who have died during the process of arrest, including homicides by law enforcement personnel and deaths attributed to suicide, intoxication, accidental injury, and natural causes.”
  • Reproductive Injustice: The State of Reproductive Health Care for Women in New York State Prisons Correctional Association of New York, February, 2015“Overall, however, we found that reproductive health care for women in New York State prisons is woefully substandard, with women routinely facing poor-quality care and assaults on their basic human dignity and reproductive rights.”
  • "If They Hand You a Paper, You Sign It": A Call to End the Sterilization of Women in Prison Rachel Roth and Sara L. Ainsworth, Hastings Women's Law Journal, January, 2015“[A] number of states allow the sterilization of incarcerated women—flouting important policy norms—and that medical providers and their professional organizations play key roles in sanctioning and carrying out these procedures.”
  • Reproductive Healthcare Experiences of Incarcerated Women: A Qualitative Study Paywall :( Sarah O'Connor and Rebecca Perkins, 2015“Most women described fragmentation of care with inability to consistently access reproductive and prenatal healthcare services. Frequent transitions between institutions exacerbated problems with access.”
  • 96 Deaths in Detention: A View of COVID-19 in the Federal Bureau of Prisons as Captured in Death Notices World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School, 2015“They reveal substantial shortcomings that are an indictment of the Bureau, the Department of Justice, and the current Administration, and the American public that has proven too willing to write off the lives of millions of incarcerated people.”
  • Medical Isolation and Solitary Confinement: Balancing Health and Humanity in US Jails and Prisons During COVID-19 David H. Cloud, Cyrus Ahalt, Dallas Augustine, David Sears MD & Brie Williams, 2015“Any effective and ethical medical isolation and quarantine program in US jails and prisons must be preceded by the immediate release of as many people as possible from jails and prisons to ensure that adequate physical space & medical staff are available.”
  • Bringing it all back home: Understanding the medical difficulties encountered by newly released prisoners in New Orleans, Louisiana William Lee Vail, Anjali Niyogi, Norris Henderson, and Ashley Wennerstrom, 2015“Most FIPs face significant barriers to access of healthcare, including lack of insurance, funding, knowledge of community services and social support. Importantly, there is an overall distrust of institutions and medical care systems.”
  • Why It's Inappropriate Not to Treat Incarcerated Patients with Opioid Agonist Therapy Sarah E. Wakeman, 2015“In addition to not offering treatment initiation for those who need it, most correctional facilities forcibly withdraw stable patients from opioid agonist therapy upon their entry into the criminal justice system.”
  • No Escape: Exposure to Toxic Coal Waste at State Correctional Institution Fayette Abolitionist Law Center, September, 2014“More than 81% of responding prisoners (61/75) reported respiratory, throat, and sinus conditions.”
  • Selected Issues in Mental Health and Corrections: A Collection and Summary of Research Disability Rights Nebraska, 2014“Although only 7% of inmates were in solitary confinement, they accounted for 53% of acts of self-harm.”
  • Facilitating Access to Health Care Coverage for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth Models for Change, December, 2013“Youth involved in the juvenile justice system have extensive physical and behavior health needs. The majority have at least one mental health condition and substance abuse is also very common.”
  • Mortality After Prison Release: Opioid Overdose and Other Causes of Death, Risk Factors, and Time Trends From 1999 to 2009 Ingrid A. Binswanger et al., October, 2013“The leading cause of death in former prisoners was overdose. Pharmaceutical opioids were the most common substances involved in these deaths.”
  • Managing Prison Health Care Spending The Pew Charitable Trust, The MacArthur Foundation, October, 2013“Pew found that prison health care spending in these 44 states totaled $6.5 billion in 2008, out of $36.8 billion in overall institutional correctional expenditures.”
  • Criminalization of HIV Transmission and Exposure: Research and Policy Agenda Zita Lazzarini et al., August, 2013“More than half the states have HIV-specific criminal laws, whereas all have traditional criminal provisions. Yet criminal laws have not been shown to be effective in reducing rates of HIV infection.”
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado's continued warehousing of mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement ACLU of Colorado, July, 2013“As of March 2013, CDOC housed at least 87 seriously mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement, 54 of whom have been living in isolation for over a year and 14 of whom have been in solitary confinement for more than 4 years.”
  • A Death Before Dying: Solitary Confinement on Death Row ACLU, July, 2013“93 percent of states lock up their death row prisoners for 22 or more hours per day. Most of these prisoners live under conditions of extreme social isolation and enforced idleness.”
  • Buried Alive: Solitary Confinement in the US Detention System Physicians for Human Rights, April, 2013“...solitary confinement can cause severe and lasting physiological/psychological harm. Moreover, in many cases, the resulting harm rises to the level of torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, in violation of domestic and international law.”
  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons' Compassionate Release Program U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector, General Evaluation and Inspections Division, April, 2013“Procedures and timeliness standards do not reference the compassionate release program or acknowledge the special circumstances of an inmate requesting compassionate release (particularly those with terminal medical conditions/limited life expectancies).”
  • Roe v Wade and the new Jane Crow: Reproductive rights in the age of mass incarceration Lynn Paltrow, January, 2013“Efforts to establish separate legal”
  • The Impact of Parental Incarceration on the Physical and Mental Health of Young Adults Rosalyn D. Lee, Xiangming Fang, and Feijun Luo, December, 2012“This study suggests exposure to parental incarceration in childhood is associated with health problems in young adulthood.”
  • The Answer is No: Too Little Compassionate Release in US Federal Prisons Human Rights Watch and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, November, 2012“To satisfy human rights requirements, prisoners should have access to judicial review or review by a similarly independent, objective tribunal that applies basic due process requirements to decisions regarding the lawfulness of their ongoing detention.”
  • The Price They Pay: Protecting the Mother-Child Relationship Through the Use of Prison Nurseries and Residential Parenting Programs Anne E. Jbara, October, 2012“Based on the emotional and cognitive benefits for both mothers and babies, the prison nursery program is a worthwhile addition to the prison system in the United States.”
  • "She Doesn't Deserve to be Treated Like This": Prisons as Sites of Reproductive Injustice Rachel Roth, Center for Women Policy Studies, July, 2012“[T]he well-established nature of women’s rights has not stopped prison and jail personnel from trying to deny women abortion care, or at least obstruct women’s access to abortion.”
  • At America's Expense The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly ACLU, June, 2012“Based on statistical analyses of available data, this report estimates that releasing an aging prisoner will save states, on average, $66,294 per year per prisoner, including healthcare, other public benefits, parole, and any housing costs or tax revenue.”
  • Eligibility and Capacity Impact Use of Flexibilities to Reduce Inmates' Time Government Accountability Office, February, 2012“Increased funding would have reduced the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program wait lists and enabled eligible inmates to enter the program early enough to earn their maximum allowable sentence reductions.”
  • Out and Down: The Effects of Incarceration on Psychiatric Disorders and Disability University of Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota, February, 2011“Incarceration has a robust relationship with subsequent mood disorders, related to feeling”
  • Criminal Justice Interventions for Offenders With Mental Illness Evaluation of Mental Health Courts in Bronx and Brooklyn, New York Urban Institute, 2011“Findings from the impact analysis indicate that mental health court participants are significantly less likely to recidivate, as compared to similar offenders with mental illness who experience business-as-usual court processing...”
  • Report on Suicides Completed in the California Department of Corrections January 1, 2012 - June 30, 2912 Raymond F. Patterson, M.D., D.F.A.P.A., 2011“In 2012, a CDCR inmate died by suicide every 11.4 days on average.”
  • Ending and Defending Against HIV Criminalization: State and Federal Laws and Prosecutions The Center for HIV Law and Policy, November, 2010“Thirty-two states and two U.S. territories have HIV-specific criminal statutes and thirty-six states have reported proceedings in which HIV-positive people have been arrested and/or prosecuted for consensual sex, biting, and spitting.”
  • Mothers Behind Bars: A state-by-state report card and analysis of federal policies on conditions of confinement for pregnant/parenting women The Rebecca Project for Human Rights and The National Women's Law Center, October, 2010“Pregnant women, incarcerated women and their children are subject to federal and state correctional policies that fail to recognize their distinct needs or honor their families.”
  • New York State Assisted Outpatient Program Evaluation New York State Department of Public Health, June, 2009
  • A randomized clinical trial of methadone maintenance for prisoners: Findings at 6 months post-release Michael S. Gordon et al., August, 2008“This study suggests that methadone maintenance treatment, provided to prisoners with histories of heroin addiction, may be an effective intervention for interrupting the cycle of relapse often experienced by individuals with heroin addiction histories.”
  • A Study of Methadone Maintenance For Male Prisoners: 3-Month Postrelease Outcomes Timothy W. Kinlock et al., July, 2008“Participants who received prison-initiated maintenance treatment were significantly more likely to enter community-based treatment than were inmates who received either information on how to access drug abuse treatment after release or counseling only”
  • Perinatal Needs of Pregnant, Incarcerated Women Barbara A. Hotelling, April, 2008“Pregnant prisoners have health-care needs that are minimally met by prison systems.”
  • HIV in Prisons, 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2008“The overall rate of estimated confirmed AIDS among the prison population (0.46%) was more than 2½ times the rate in the U.S. general population (0.17%).”
  • Medical Problems of Prisoners Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2008“An estimated 44% of state inmates and 39% of federal inmates reported a current medical problem other than a cold or virus.”
  • Health and Prisoner Reentry: How Physical, Mental, and Substance Abuse Conditions Shape the Process of Reintegration Urban Institute, February, 2008“Nearly all returning prisoners—8 in 10 men and 9 in 10 women—had chronic health conditions requiring treatment or management.”
  • Expert Report by Dr. Noel on Medical Care at Ely State Prison American Civil Liberties Union, December, 2007“[T]he medical care provided at Ely State Prison amounts to the grossest possible medical malpractice, and the most shocking and callous disregard for human life and human suffering, that I have ever encountered in the medical profession...”
  • HIV in Prisons, 2005 Bureau of Justice Statistics, September, 2007“There were 22,480 state and federal inmates who were HIV infected or had confirmed AIDS on Dec. 31, 2005, which was a decrease from 22,936 at the end of 2004... [t]he 2005 decline was the sixth consecutive year the number has fallen.”
  • Release from Prison A High Risk of Death for Former Inmates New England Journal of Medicine, January, 2007“The mortality rate among former inmates was 3.5 times (95% CI, 3.2 to 3.8) that among state residents of the same age, sex, and race. The attributable-risk percentage was 71%, amounting to 316 excess deaths.”
  • Medical Causes of Death in State Prisons, 2001-2004 Bureau of Justice Statistics, January, 2007“Overall, 89 percent of all state prisoner deaths were attributed to medical conditions and 8 percent were due to suicide or homicide.”
  • Release from Prison -- A High Risk of Death for Former Inmates Ingrid A. Binswanger et al., January, 2007“During the first 2 weeks after release from the Washington State Department of Corrections, the risk of death among former inmates was 12.7 times that among Washington State residents of the same age, sex, and race.”
  • HIV in Prisons, 2004 Bureau of Justice Statistics, November, 2006“The overall rate of confirmed AIDS among the prison population (0.50%) was more than 3 times the rate in the U.S. general population (0.15%).”(Although the percentage of prisoners with HIV has decresed, problems remain.)
  • Medical Problems of Jail Inmates Bureau of Justice Statistics, November, 2006“More than a third of jail inmates reported having a current medical problem.”
  • Incarceration as Forced Migration: Effects on Selected Community Health Outcomes James C. Thomas and Elizabeth Torrone, October, 2006“High rates of incarceration can have the unintended consequence of destabilizing communities and contributing to adverse health outcomes.”
  • Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates Bureau of Justice Statistics, September, 2006“Female inmates had higher rates of mental health problems than male inmates (State prisons: 73% of females and 55% of males; Federal prisons: 61% of females and 44% of males; local jails: 75% of females and 63% of males).”
  • The Spiral of Risk: Health Care Provision to Incarcerated Women National Council on Crime and Delinquency, March, 2006“Female offenders commonly face a wide range of serious health problems.... Their health problems typically predate their involvement in the justice system, are often exacerbated while they are imprisoned, and continue to deteriorate after release.”
  • Treatment Instead of Prisons: A Roadmap for Sentencing and Correctional Policy in Wisconsin Justice Strategies, January, 2006“Absent a major investment of tax dollars in treatment services, however, we found that the state is likely to face mounting prison populations pressures in coming years due to growth in nonviolent admissions and revocations of post-release supervision.”
  • Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Board on Health Sciences Policy, 2006(A review of current research practices regarding prison subjects with recommendations.)
  • HIV in Prisons, 2003 Bureau of Justice Statistics, September, 2005
  • Black Male Incarceration Rates and the Relatively High Rate of AIDS Infection Among African-American Women and Men Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley, July, 2005“Our results reveal that the higher incarceration rates among black males over this period explain a substantial share of the racial disparity in AIDS infection between black women and women of other racial and ethnic groups.”
  • HIV in Prisons and Jails, 2002 Bureau of Justice Statistics, December, 2004
  • Prison Needle Exchange: Lessons from a Comprehensive Review of International Evidence and Experience Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, October, 2004
  • Georgia's Aging Inmate Population Georgia Department of Corrections, June, 2004“Georgia, with a prison population in excess of 47,000 inmates has the sixth largest prison system in the nation. At the end of FY 2002 4,025 inmates, or nearly one in ten were 50 or older.”
  • Hepatitis Testing and Treatment in State Prisons Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2004
  • HIV in Prisons, 2001 Bureau of Justice Statistics, January, 2004
  • Corrections Health Care Costs Council of State Governments, January, 2004
  • Ill-Equipped: U.S. Prisons and Offenders with Mental Illness Human Rights Watch, October, 2003
  • "Do no harm" or "Do no expense"?: Ohio's prisoners are dying from inadequate medical care Prison Policy Initiative, October, 2003“Ohio Department of Corrections' health care budget cuts and poor oversight is compromising the quality of care.”
  • Correctional Health: The Missing Key to Improving the Public's Health and Safety Massachusetts Public Health Association, October, 2003
  • Identifying the HIV/AIDS/STD-related Needs of African American Ex-Offenders Council on Crime and Justice, April, 2003“Health effects associated with incarceration exacerbate existing health disparities in the larger African American community.”
  • Prevention and Control of Infections with Hepatitis Viruses in Correctional Settings Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January, 2003
  • Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System The Current State of Knowledge Urban Institute, January, 2003“Prisoners are not getting the drug treatment programs that would reduce their drug abuse and criminal behavior.”
  • HIV in Prisons, 2000 Bureau of Justice Statistics, October, 2002
  • Treatment of Incarcerated Women With Substance Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), July, 2002
  • Consensus Project Report Criminal Justice / Mental Health Consensus Project, June, 2002(project coordinated by the Council of State Governments (CSG))
  • The War on Drugs and the War on Abortion: Some Initial Thoughts on the Connections, Intersections, and the Effects Lynn Paltrow, May, 2002(By recognizing the similarity between reproductive rights and the drug war there is an opportunity for a deeper understanding of each issue and a basis for developing analysis and action that can counteract the forces of punishment and prohibition.)
  • Disease Profile of Texas Prison Inmates National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), April, 2002
  • The Health Status of Soon-to-be-Released Inmates A Report to Congress National Commission on Correctional Health Care, March, 2002
  • Improving the Link Between Research and Drug Treatment in Correctional Settings Urban Institute, 2002
  • Mental Health Treatment in State Prisons Bureau of Justice Statistics, July, 2001(None of the prison systems have any idea how many mentally ill prisoners they have. Using the BJS reports for anything other than whether or not prisoners identified as mentally ill are actually receiving services would be a mistake.)
  • HIV in Prisons and Jails, 1999 Bureau of Justice Statistics, July, 2001
  • Incarceration of the Terminally Ill: Current Practices in the United States GRACE Project, March, 2001
  • Medical Problems of Inmates, 1997 Bureau of Justice Statistics, January, 2001“Presents survey data on offenders who were in prison who reported a medical problem since admission or a physical impairment or mental condition”
  • Federal Prisoner Health Care Copayment Act of 2000 Cost Estimate Congressional Budget Office, August, 2000“some indigent prisoners could not pay the fee, and that assessing such a fee would deter some prisoners from initiating some visits.”
  • Federal Prisons: Responses to Questions Related to Containing Health Care Costs for an Increasing Inmate Population General Accounting Office, June, 2000
  • Drug Use, Testing, and Treatment in Jails Bureau of Justice Statistics, May, 2000“Most Jails that test for drugs find at least one inmate who tests positive”
  • Federal Prisons: Containing Health Care Costs for an Increasing Inmate Population General Accounting Office, April, 2000
  • Federal Prisons: Containing Health Care Costs for an Increasing Inmate Population General Accounting Office, April, 2000
  • Health Care in New York State Prisons Correctional Association, February, 2000
  • From Prisons to Hospitals and Back The Criminalization of Mental Illness Campaign for an Effective Crime Policy, January, 2000
  • Abuse of Women in Custody: Sexual Misconduct and Shackling of Pregnant Women Amnesty International, 2000(includes a detailed state by state survey)
  • HIV in Prisons 1997 Bureau of Justice Statistics, November, 1999“Rates of HIV infection and AIDS-related deaths drop among the Nation's prisoners”
  • Mental Health and Treatment of Inmates and Probationers Bureau of Justice Statistics, July, 1999“More than a quarter million prison and jail inmates are identified as mentally ill”
  • Prisons and Jails: Hospitals of Last Resort: The Need for Diversion and Discharge Planning for Incarcerated People with Mental Illness in New York Correctional Association of New York and the Urban Justice Center, 1999
  • Report on the Psychiatric Management of John Salvi in Massachusetts Department of Correction Facilities 1995-1996 University of Massachusetts Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, January, 1997“...in our opinion, the number of full-time equivalent psychiatrists within the DOC is far too low to meet the psychiatric needs of the inmate population.”
  • Prison Suicide: An Overview and Guide to Prevention U.S. Department of Justice, June, 1995“During the past 10 years, the rate of suicide in prisons throughout the country was 20.6 deaths per 100,000 inmates. States with small prison populations appear to have exceedingly high rates of suicide -- often more than 2.5 times the national average.”

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