IN THE NEWS

The Riddle of Prison Sentencing
New York Times, December 9 , 2016
“A study released this year by Jason Rydberg, a criminologist at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, examined the impact of the length of incarceration on recidivism rates in Michigan, Missouri, New York and Utah. He found that for those who had committed public order and sex crimes, longer incarceration corresponded to higher recidivism rates. A study in Harris County, Tex., that included violent crime showed similar results.”

Out of Prison, Uncovered 
The Marshall Project, December 6, 2016
“Nationwide, 16 state prison systems have no formal procedure to enroll prisoners in Medicaid as they reenter the community, according to a survey by The Marshall Project. Nine states have only small programs in select facilities or for limited groups of prisoners, like those with disabilities. These 25 states collectively release some 375,000 inmates each year.”

Helping Ex-Inmates Stay Out of the ER Brings Multiple Benefits
NPR, December 5, 2016
“In a randomized control trial looking at 200 recently released prisoners in San Francisco, Wang and her colleagues showed that bringing that population to see doctors significantly reduced emergency room visits and hospitalizations. That lessens the strain on emergency departments, and the cost burden that emergency treatment puts on the health care system.”

Spotlight: Series on Mental Illness (and Prisons)
Boston Globe, November 2016
“Within three years of being released, 37 percent of inmates who leave state prisons with mental illnesses are locked up again, compared with 30 percent of those who do not have mental health problems, according to a Department of Correction analysis of 2012 releases. Inmates battling addiction fare worse: About half are convicted of a new crime within three years, according to one state study. And inmates with a “dual diagnosis” of addiction and mental illness…do the worst of all, national studies show.”

CENTER IN FOCUS

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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.