Growing Old poster4 jpgGrowing 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.

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.”

Take a Valium, Lose Your Kid, Go to Jail
ProPublica, September 23, 2015
“A woman can be charged with chemical endangerment from the earliest weeks of pregnancy, even if her baby is born perfectly healthy, even if her goal was to protect her baby from greater harm. The penalties are exceptionally stiff: one to 10 years in prison if her baby suffers no ill effects, 10 to 20 years if her baby shows signs of exposure or harm and 10 to 99 years if her baby dies.'”

What Happened When an Illinois County Rehabilitated Mentally Ill Offenders Through Treatment
Think Progress, September 18, 2015
At Cook County jail, a team of mental health professionals determine a defendant’s eligibility for the program once they’re dropped off by the police…Practitioners also conduct an evaluation. If the individual is deemed in need of mental health treatment, officials prepare a packet to allow their lawyer to ask a judge for diversion from conventional incarceration.”



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.