IN THE NEWS

DOJ Study: 55 Percent of State Inmates Suffer from Mental Illness
CBS Minnesota, September 27, 2017
“A Department of Justice study classified 55 percent of the country’s state prison population as mentally ill, and 73 percent of all female inmates as such. The sheriffs in Dakota, Ramsey and Washington Counties say as many as a third of the people in their jails have a mental illness with another third are likely undiagnosed. “It is important for us to have empathy for people who have mental illness,” Ramsey County Sheriff Jack G. Serier said. It may sound like a simple statement, but the sheriff’s call for empathy is an important breakthrough for mental health professionals.”

Courts that Save Opioid Victims’ Family Life
The New York Times, September 26, 2017
“In most places, a parent in recovery would be required to complete a treatment program ordered by a traditional Family Court as a condition of regaining custody. But the likelihood of losing one’s child is high: there’s little support for parents trying to finish treatment, and many drop out. Federal data indicate that substance abuse accounts for nearly 40 percent of all cases in which a child is removed from home, though some experts believe that the number is as high as 80 percent. Chautauqua County, N.Y., had an innovative intervention program called Family Treatment Court, which gives parents access to a wide range of coordinated services.”

When Not Guilty is a Life Sentence
The New York Times, September 27, 2017
“What happens after a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity? Often the answer is involuntary confinement in a state psychiatric hospital — with no end in sight.”

Incarceration and Correctional Health Care: Unique Challenges Face Clinicians Delivering Care Behind Bars
AMA Journal of Ethics, September 2017 Issue
“The United States incarcerates a greater proportion of its population than any other nation on Earth, including disproportionate shares of racial and ethnic minorities. Clinicians in correctional settings are uniquely challenged when trying to offer good care while respecting patients’ autonomy, and must respond to the fact that patients who experience incarceration have poorer health outcomes and shorter life expectancy. The September issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics explores the unique challenges of providing care behind the walls of a correctional facility.”

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.