IN THE NEWS

‘This Man Will Almost Certainly Die’
The Nation, January 28, 2016
Repeated federal audits and reports have found these facilities to be in crisis. Prison medical care is notoriously bad, but for years, immigrant- and prisoner-rights advocates have sounded the alarm about these sites in particular, describing them as separate and unequal, segregated on the basis of citizenship.”

State Prisons Turn to Telemedicine to Improve Health and Save Money
Stateline, January 21, 2016
“Most states have turned to telemedicine to some extent for treating prisoners — often in remote areas, where many prisons are located — because it allows doctors to examine them from a safe distance. It enables corrections officers keep potentially dangerous inmates behind bars for treatment rather than bearing the cost and security risk of transporting them to hospitals. And because more doctors are willing to participate, it makes health care more available for inmates.”

Obama Bans Solitary Confinement of Juveniles in Federal Prisons
New York Times, January 25, 2015
“Mr. Obama said federal prisons would no longer use solitary confinement for juveniles or for inmates serving time for low-level infractions. He said the change, along with expanded mental health treatment, would affect as many as 10,000 inmates in the federal system, about a tenth of those being held in solitary confinement in the United States, including in state prisons.”

ACLU Report: California Jails Denying Reproductive Healthcare
Slate, January 19, 2016
“Incarcerated California women are denied abortion services, prenatal care, and even menstrual pads, according to a scathing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California report released Tuesday that finds some county jails deny, delay, and ignore prisoners’ reproductive health care.”

CENTER IN FOCUS

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In response to a powerful New York Times op-ed on dying in prison, Center Co-Founder Dr. Josiah Rich wrote a letter to the Times questioning the limits of punishment, and advocating for the expansion of medical parole and compassionate release policies.

Dr. Rich continues to sound the alarm about the importance of starting and continuing MAT in prisons–his latest is in the Baltimore Sun. Dr. Rich writes: “In the May 29 online issue of the medical journal The Lancet, colleagues and I reported results of a one-month randomized clinical trial comparing continued methadone with forced withdrawal from methadone for people who were in treatment at the time of incarceration. The results show that of those who were on methadone at the time of release, 100 percent continued methadone treatment in the community whereas less than half of those forced off of methadone returned to the methadone clinic, and even at one month this was cost effective.”

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.