IN THE NEWS
Why Do We Lock Up Juveniles for Life and Throw Away the Key?
Prison Policy Initiative, September 15, 2016
“While a number of states continue to use life without parole sentences for juveniles, new research shows that those juveniles are largely and increasingly people of color. A recent study by researchers from the Phillips Black Project found that people of color are overrepresented in the juvenile life without parole population ‘in ways perhaps unseen in any other aspect of our criminal justice system.'”
Jails, Prisons Still Trying to Meet Federal Anti-Rape Rules
CorrectionsOne, September 11, 2016
“Since 2012, states have been working to meet the standards set forth by the Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA, which was partially inspired by the 1996 death of Rodney Hulin, an undersized 17-year-old inmate who hanged himself in Texas after his requests for help following repeated rapes by adult inmates were denied. Texas sheriff’s offices say separating the two populations has been a challenge because of overcrowding and steep financial costs. ‘It’s a big logistical headache,. Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk said.”
New Report Documents the Devastating Effects of Solitary Confinement on Mental Illness
Solitary Watch, September 9 , 2016
“A new report released yesterday highlights the disturbing use of solitary confinement on incarcerated individuals with mental illness. Locked Up and Locked Down: Segregation of Inmates with Mental Illness, released by Disability Rights Washington, details the widespread practice of housing men, women, and children with mental illness in solitary confinement. The report shows that prisons and jails routinely subject people with mental illness to conditions that dramatically exacerbate their condition, often to the point of suicide.”
Majority of Older Adults in Jail Have Distressing Health Symptoms
American Geriatrics Society, August 29, 2016
“Of the [study] participants, a significant majority of respondents said they had at least one symptom of physical distress (44 percent), psychological distress (56 percent), extreme loneliness (45 percent), and/or concerns about their personal dignity (54 percent). Furthermore, participants also reported that they faced difficult social challenges, including being homeless and worrying about physical safety.”
CENTER IN FOCUS
Center Co-Founder and Director Dr. Josiah Rich is profiled in The Lancet (page 8) as part of their series on HIV and related infections in prisoners. Dr. Rich and other Center-affiliated staff and researchers have a piece in the series on the clinical care of incarcerated people with HIV, viral hepatitis, or tuberculosis.
The Lancet series has sparked new conversation about the role incarceration plays in disrupting or limiting care for infectious diseases. The Washington Post covers this story, with comments from the Center’s Executive Director Brad Brockmann regarding the need to increase our focus on hepatitis C in incarcerated populations.
Dr. Rich and Mr. Brockmann have also been featured in the press discussing the role correctional facilities can play in saving lives and treating individuals with opioid use disorder as well as the need for significant reform in the use of solitary confinement.
For a broader take on correctional health, see the Fall 2015 edition of Issues in Science and Technology. Dr. Rich and the Center’s Senior Research Assistant Alexandria Macmadu wrote a correctional health overview that focuses on correctional health as community health and the challenges of providing health care inside.