IN THE NEWS

“We must release prisoners to lessen the spread of coronavirus”
Washington Post
, March 18, 2020
Center Co-Founders and Executive Director on the public health crisis of coronavirus reaching prisons: “It is essential to understand that, despite being physically secure, jails and prisons are not isolated from the community. People continuously enter and leave, including multiple shifts of corrections staff; newly arrested, charged and sentenced individuals; attorneys; and visitors. Even if this flow is limited to the extent possible, correctional facilities remain densely populated and poorly designed to prevent the inevitable rapid and widespread dissemination of this virus.

“Association of Restrictive Housing During Incarceration with Mortality After Release”
JAMA Network Open
, October 4, 2019
“This cohort study included 229 274 people who were released from incarceration in North Carolina from 2000 to 2015. Compared with individuals who were incarcerated and not placed in restrictive housing, individuals who spent any time in restrictive housing were 24% more likely to die in the first year after release, especially from suicide (78% more likely) and homicide (54% more likely); they were also 127% more likely to die of an opioid overdose in the first 2 weeks after release.”

“Putting All the Pieces Back”: Lessons from a Health Care–Led Jail Reentry Pilot: A Case Study”
NEJM Catalyst
, September 25, 2019
“In Camden, New Jersey, the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (Camden Coalition) works alongside community partners to connect service delivery and data silos in order to improve outcomes for the region’s most vulnerable residents. Suspecting that there was an overlap in the populations served by the health care and criminal justice systems, we enacted a data-sharing relationship with the Camden County Police Department in 2015 to combine arrest data with all-payer claims data from the regional hospitals with which we had long-standing data-sharing relationships.”

Would Expanded Criminal Background Checks Hurt Federal Job Applicants?
The Marshall Project
, March 8, 2019
“The Trump administration wants applicants for federal jobs and contractor positions to divulge whether they have gone through diversion programs such as drug courts that are meant to help people avoid prison. But critics say the move undermines the whole idea of sentencing alternatives that are designed to keep permanent blemishes off participants’ records, avoiding negative background checks that can limit jobs, housing and education.”

When Going to Jail Means Giving Up The Meds That Saved Your Life
The Marshall Project, January 29, 2019
“The landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law in 1990, bans discrimination against people with disabilities and requires that public places or services be made accessible to all. From its inception, the law included protections for those recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. Yet until recently, the law was rarely invoked on behalf of prisoners taking methadone and buprenorphine.”

The Doublethink of the FIRST STEP Act
The Hill, December 17, 2018
“Now, after years of directly impacted leaders gaining wide popular support for an end to mass incarceration, we are witnessing again an emerging fascination with new methods of social control. But we must not be deceived by the seeming efficiency of e-carceration and risk assessment as solutions to our mass incarceration problem. Both are deeply flawed and unsustainable responses that perpetuate the social inequities that have created America’s criminal justice crisis.”

When Mental-Health Experts, Not Police, Are The First Responders
Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2018
“But in Eugene, Oregon’s third-largest city, when police receive such calls, they aren’t usually the ones who respond. Here, the first responders are typically pairs of hoodie-wearing crisis workers and medics driving white vans stocked with medical supplies, blankets and water.”

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