IN THE NEWS
Prisoners With Hep C Get Cured In Some States But Not Others
FiveThirtyEight, October 13 , 2016
“As these new and expensive drugs become the norm for treatment, it’s relatively certain that state prison systems will be on the hook to provide them to at least some inmates. But how many, and how much it will cost, appears to vary dramatically, according to data from a study released last week. And even at discounted prices, most states will spend millions of dollars a year just treating the worst cases of hepatitis C among inmates.”
How Does Incarceration Impact The Spread of HIV?
The Body, October 10, 2016
“Andrea Wirtz, Ph.D., one of the study’s co-authors and an assistant scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is quick to clarify that it’s not that HIV transmission is rampant within U.S. jails and prisons. The availability of antiretroviral therapy in prison actually keeps the risk of transmission low behind bars…The risk arises once people are released and have difficulties continuing their medications. These interruptions mean they are no longer virally suppressed and thus are more at risk of transmission. ‘It’s right after release that there’s an increased risk of overdose and HIV transmission,’ she explained.”
Kids in Prison: Germany Has A Different Approach, Better Results
WNYC, October 10 2016
“Not all of the minors who were tried as adults were found guilty and not all went to prison. But WNYC found at least 152 inmates are still serving time in adult prisons for crimes they committed as minors — 93 percent of them are black or Latino. That’s just looking at crimes committed in the past five years, and not including offenders who already completed their sentences.”
Improving Outcomes For Justice-Involved Individuals With Lessons From Veterans Programs
Health Affairs Blog, October 6, 2016
“In other words, for incarcerated individuals with health care needs, there is rarely an adequate discharge plan. Developing discharge plans for reentering individuals who are Medicaid eligible can improve important health outcomes, save money, and reduce re-incarceration. An unusual combination of national programs—the Veteran’s Justice Programs and the Medicare Readmissions Reduction Program—can inform future work to improve the health and wellbeing of a highly vulnerable population.”
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.