IN THE NEWS
New Report Helps Police Implement Public Health Strategies to Reduce Low-Level Arrests
Vera Institute of Justice, November 17, 2015
“The report, First Do No Harm: Advancing Public Health in Policing Practices, is the latest in a series from Vera’s Justice Reform for Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to improve the health and well-being of the individuals and communities most affected by mass incarceration. At the center of these communities are the millions of medically vulnerable and socially marginalized people who cycle through the criminal justice system each year instead of receiving the care they need, often due to being arrested on minor offenses such as drug possession, loitering, or public intoxication.”
Aging in Prison: Reducing Elder Incarceration and Promoting Public Safety
Center for Justice at Columbia University, November 12, 2015
“This policy document…is the result of the 2014 symposium [that] examined the growing numbers of aging people in prison, their prison conditions, their transition back into the community and the need to increase the release of aging people who pose little or no public safety risk. This is a critical part of reducing mass incarceration and of creating a more fair, just and humane justice system.”
How Parental Incarceration Affects a Child’s Education
The Atlantic, November 11, 2015
“The new report strives to do that disentangling and identify any outcomes in children that are uniquely associated with parental incarceration. And while much of the report’s findings on health outcomes and social relationships are inconclusive, one of the few risk factors that does seem to have a direct association with parental incarceration has to do with the kids’ education. Children of all ages were significantly more likely to have problems in school, while those ages 6 through 11 had lower “school engagement.”
More Than a Decade After Release, They All Come Back
USA Today, November 4, 2015
“Since 2002, USA TODAY has been tracking nine Texas offenders released that November day…all of whom spent prolonged periods in isolation, either as punishment for misconduct in prison or for their association with criminal gangs. [All nine] inmates freed from solitary on the same day have all returned at least once — and some multiple times. Some describe a type of sensory paralysis that seemed to overwhelm them once they were finally free, a troubling consequence of the most extreme condition of confinement that has recently drawn the scrutiny of the Justice Department, prison officials and lawmakers across the U.S.”
CENTER IN FOCUS
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.