IN THE NEWS

Addiction Treatment Grew Under Health Law. Now What?
New York Times, February 10 , 2017
“As the debate over the fate of the health law intensifies, proponents have focused on the lifesaving care it has brought to people with cancer, diabetes and other physical illnesses. But the law has also had a profound, though perhaps less heralded, effect on mental health and addiction treatment, vastly expanding access to those services by designating them as “essential benefits” that must be covered through the A.C.A. marketplaces and expanded Medicaid.”

For Seriously Ill Prisoners, Consider Evidence-Based Compassionate Release Policies
Health Affairs Blog, February 6, 2017
“Due to the growing numbers of older prisoners, taxpayers are shouldering rapidly increasing prison costs related to the care of chronically or seriously ill prisoners, even as evidence shows that incarcerating high numbers of older men and women yields minimal public safety benefit. Age is a powerful predictor of reduced recidivism. For prisoners who meet medical eligibility requirements for compassionate release, recidivism rates are even lower.”

Making Addiction Treatment Work for Inmates
CommonWealth Magazine, January 31, 2017
“Sixty-five percent of inmates meet the medical criteria for drug addiction, but just 11 percent receive treatment while incarcerated. They leave still in the throes of addiction, ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of freedom. Seventy-six percent will return to jail or prison within five years of release, and for good reason. Everything is stacked against them.”

Less Obamacare, More Crime
Vice, January 6, 2017
“Advocates have repeatedly warned that repealing Obamacare without replacing it will have dire public health consequences, but the potential impact of such a move on the criminal justice system has largely been overlooked. Researchers estimate that 70 percent to 90 percent of the approximately 10 million individuals released from U.S. prisons and jails each year are uninsured, and about 40 percent of incarcerated people have at least one chronic health condition, such as diabetes or hypertension.”

CENTER IN FOCUS

Center leadership and affiliated faculty are featured in the latest edition of Brown Medicine, discussing the clinical care they provide for incarcerated patients, as well as their advocacy efforts on behalf of justice-involved individuals. The article also highlights the Center’s undergraduate course, Designing Education for Better Prisoner and Community Health.

The Center is excited to be a finalist in the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge. We’re using the Challenge to develop a Transitions Clinic in program in Providence with local partners. For more about the program model, check out the Transitions Clinic network.

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.

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.