IN THE NEWS
Growing Old and Doing Time: America’s Aging Prison Population
Join the Center on October 15 at Brown University for a discussion of growing old inside. Our panelists will discuss the practical challenges of incarcerating older adults, as well as new approaches to responding to the special needs of elderly prisoners. See our events page for more information.
Trouble Behind Bars: When Jail Deaths Go Unnoticed
Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, October 5, 2015
“The causes of more than 40 percent of all Kentucky jail deaths during the past 6½ years are listed ambiguously in department records as “natural, “unknown” or “autopsy pending,” although some of those cases appear to have involved lapses by the jail staff, misconduct or indifference.”
Inmates Help Other Prisoners Face Death in Hospice Program
Associated Press, October 6, 2015
“[Scott] Abram, 48, is a Stephen Minister, a type of lay counselor common in churches around the country but rarer inside prison walls. He is one of 15 male and female inmates trained in the program at Franklin Medical Center, a small prison just south of downtown Columbus that houses some of the state’s sickest inmates, many of whom die there.'”
Study Assesses Suicide Intervention Program for Former Jail Inmates
Brown Daily Herald, October 1, 2015
“Trained mental health providers will work with the detainees while they are still in jail to formulate a safety plan — a list of important family members and friends to contact, methods for managing suicidal thoughts and information about public resources such as the Samaritans 24-Hour Crisis Hotline.”
CENTER IN FOCUS
September was a big press month for The Center. Center Co-Founder Dr. Josiah Rich and Senior Research Assistant Alexandria Macmadu wrote a correctional health overview for Issues in Science and Technology, focusing on correctional health as community health and the challenges of providing health care inside.
Dr. Rich was also quoted in RI NPR responding to policies that require prisoners to pay co-pays for health care in prison, as well as pay for basic pharmacy products. The article cites the work of the Brennan Center for Justice on “criminal justice debt” and their report on “pay-to-stay” fees across the country.
A feature in Pacific Standard on “the case for methadone in jails” also drew on the work of Dr. Rich and his colleagues who reviewed the use of opioid replacement therapy in prisons across the country. The RI Governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force is still hard at work on developing a plan for the state that will include the expansion of medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Follow their progress here.