Health impact

Public health, access to healthcare, and mortality

On this page, the Prison Policy Initiative has curated all of the research about the impact of the justice system on health and mortality that we know of. You can also see a selection of our best original research on this topic on our Health page. For research on other criminal justice topics, see our Research Library homepage.


  • The relationship between community public health, behavioral health service accessibility, and mass incarceration Niloofar Ramezani et al, July, 2022“In this study, one county-level health factor emerged as important factor influencing per capita jail population: more physically unhealthy days within the past 30 days predicted a higher per capita jail population.”
  • report thumbnail Chronic Punishment: The unmet health needs of people in state prisons Prison Policy Initiative, June, 2022“In this analysis of a unique, large-scale survey of people in state prisons, we add to the existing research showing that state prisons fall far short of their constitutional duty to meet the essential health needs of people in their custody.”
  • Interventions Designed to Improve HIV Continuum of Care Outcomes for Persons with HIV in Contact with the Carceral System in the USA Emily F. Dauria et al, June, 2022“Cyclical carceral contact remains a persistent barrier to community-based HIV care access and engagement.”
  • Universal health coverage and incarceration Tyler N. A. Winkleman et al, June, 2022“Particularly in countries with high incarceration rates, failure to include custodial settings in calculations of the service coverage index might result in overestimation of progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.8.1.”
  • Nothing But Time: Elderly Americans Serving Life Without Parole Sentencing Project, June, 2022“More than 55,000 Americans are incarcerated in state and federal prisons with no chance of parole, reflecting a 66% rise in people serving LWOP since 2003.”
  • (New) Correctional Medical Care for Female Prisoners: Legal Issues Surrounding Inadequate Treatment of Chronic and/or Preexisting Health Conditions Paywall :( Chelsi Lamberton and Michael S. Vaughn, June, 2022“Through the lens of federal court litigation...this article discusses women who brought legal challenges, questioning the adequacy of correctional medical care rendered to their chronic and preexisting health conditions.”
  • Motherhood and Pregnancy Behind Bars: Texas Must Rethink How It's Treating Mothers and Families Texas Center for Justice and Equity, May, 2022“Disregarding women's requests for help had occurred so often in Texas corrections facilities that the Legislature passed [a bill requiring] corrections officers to promptly respond when a woman was experiencing labor and take her to a medical facility.”
  • (New) HIV in Prisons, 2020 - Statistical Tables Bureau of Justice Statistics, May, 2022“From 2016 to 2020, the number of male prisoners who had HIV declined an average of 6% per year, while the number of female prisoners with HIV declined 10% per year on average.”
  • Reducing the Health Harms of Incarceration Aspen Health Strategy Group, April, 2022“Incarceration is a primary source of poor health for individuals, families, communities, and our nation as a whole. The consequences of these various sources of harm continue long after release, with higher rates of mortality and morbidity.”
  • The prison context itself undermines public health and vaccination efforts Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2022“49% of respondents reported that they generally trust doctors and healthcare providers to make medically correct judgements, but only 9% of respondents trust doctors or healthcare providers in a prison to make medically correct judgments.”
  • Elderly, Detained, and Justice-Involved: The Most Incarcerated Generation Rachel Bedard, Joshua Vaughn and Angela Silletti Murolo, March, 2022“A birth cohort born in the 1960s and 70s were set on a path towards lifetime justice involvement as a result of having come into adolescence during the height of the crack era and crime waves of the 1980s and early 1990s.”
  • Elderly, Detained, and Justice-Involved: The Most Incarcerated Generation Rachel Bedard, Joshua Vaughn and Angela Silletti Murolo, March, 2022“A birth cohort born in the 1960s and 70s were set on a path towards lifetime justice involvement as a result of having come into adolescence during the height of the crack era and crime waves of the 1980s and early 1990s.”
  • Fentanyl in Colorado: Overview and recommendations for addressing the overdose crisis Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, March, 2022(This brief describes the failure to prevent fentanyl overdose by increasing criminal punishment, and instead offers public health and harm reduction strategies like increasing medication-assisted treatment in prisons and jails.)
  • COVID looks like it may stay. That means prison medical copays must go. Prison Policy Initiative, February, 2022“Medical copays encourage a dangerous waiting game for incarcerated people, correctional agencies, and the public, with little payoff in terms of offsetting medical costs and reducing "unnecessary" office visits.”
  • Opioid Overdose Deaths Among Formerly Incarcerated Persons and the General Population: North Carolina, 2000-2018 Paywall :( Shabbar I Ranapurwala et al, February, 2022“While nationwide opioid overdose death rates declined from 2017 to 2018, OOD rates among North Carolina formerly incarcerated people increased by about a third, largely from fentanyl and its analogs.”
  • Canary in the Coal Mine: A Profile of Staff COVID Deaths in the Texas Prison System Alexi Jones, Michele Deitch, and Alycia Welch, Prison and Jail Innovation Lab, February, 2022“A total of 78 TDCJ employees have died from COVID... With 26 deaths for every 10,000 TDCJ employees, Texas has the highest rate of staff deaths among the largest prison systems in the country and the second highest rate of death nationwide.”
  • Recidivism and mortality after in-jail buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder Paywall :( Elizabeth A. Evans, Donna Wilson, and Peter D. Friedmann, February, 2022“Among incarcerated adults with opioid use disorder, risk of recidivism after jail exit is lower among those who were offered buprenorphine during incarceration.”
  • "My Greatest Fear is To Be a Lab Rat For the State": COVID-19 and Vaccine Hesitancy in NYS Prisons Correctional Association of New York, January, 2022“Of 166 respondents, 42.7% said that DOCCS administering the vaccine would make them less likely to accept the vaccine (n=71).”
  • Association Between Assistance With Medicaid Enrollment and Use of Health Care After Incarceration Among Adults With a History of Substance Use Marguerite E. Burns et al, January, 2022“After implementation of [Medicaid] enrollment assistance, the likelihood of any outpatient visit increased by 7.7 percentage points, a relative change of 47.8% receiving this service within 30 days of release.”
  • The consequences of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act for police arrests Jessica T. Simes and Jaquelyn L. Jahn, January, 2022“We observe the largest negative differences for drug arrests: we find a 25-41% negative difference in drug arrests in the three years following Medicaid expansion, compared to non-expansion counties.”
  • Incarceration and subsequent risk of suicide: A statewide cohort study Paywall :( Erin Renee Morgan et al, January, 2022“Suicide risk was 62% higher among previously incarcerated individuals compared with the general population.”
  • Availability of Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Among Pregnant and Postpartum Individuals in US Jails Carolyn Sufrin, Camille T. Kramer, Mishka Terplan et al, January, 2022“A substantial proportion of US jails did not provide access to MOUD to pregnant people with OUD. Although most jails reported continuing to provide MOUD to individuals who were receiving medication before incarceration, few jails initiated MOUD..”
  • Mortality and Cause of Death Among Youths Previously Incarcerated in the Juvenile Legal System Donna A. Ruch et al, December, 2021“In this cohort study of 3645 previously incarcerated youths, the all-cause mortality rate was 5.9 times higher in previously incarcerated youths than the rate observed in general population, Medicaid-enrolled youths.”
  • Association of Incarceration With Mortality by Race From a National Longitudinal Cohort Study Benjamin J. Bovell-Ammon et al, December, 2021“Experiencing an incarceration in adulthood was associated with lower life expectancy for Black but not for non-Black participants. Our study confirmed known racial disparities in rates of incarceration and life expectancy.”
  • Mortality in Local Jails, 2000-2019 Bureau of Justice Statistics, December, 2021“A total of 1,200 persons died in local jails in 2019, a more than 5% increase from 2018 (1,138 deaths) and a 33% increase from 2000 (903), when the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) began its Mortality in Correctional Institutions data collection.”
  • Recent studies shed light on what reproductive "choice" looks like in prisons and jails Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2021“Two recent studies reveal that abortion and contraception access varies greatly between states -- and that abortion access for incarcerated people is related to broader state policies.”
  • Mortality in State and Federal Prisons, 2001-2019 Bureau of Justice Statistics, December, 2021“A total of 65,027 state prisoners and 7,125 federal prisoners died while in custody during 2001-19.”
  • Pandemics, Prisons, and Policy: An Overview of Criminal Justice and Public Health in Tennessee Hadassah Betapudi and Anna Walton, December, 2021“Among the 50 states, Tennessee ranks 20th for the highest number of state prisoners infected with coronavirus per capita, with 7,290 total cases.20 Significantly, this means there is one known case per every three prisoners.”
  • Costs and Consequences of Eliminating a Routine, Point-Of-Care HIV Screening Program in a High-Prevalence Jail Angela B. Hutchinson et al, November, 2021“Routine HIV screening in high-prevalence jails is cost effective and has a larger impact on public health than targeted testing.”
  • Losing Years Doing Time: Incarceration Exposure and Accelerated Biological Aging among African American Adults Paywall :( Mark T. Berg et al, October, 2021“Incarceration exposure predicted accelerated aging, leaving formerly incarcerated African American individuals biologically older than their calendar age.”
  • New York State's New Death Penalty: The Death Toll of Mass Incarceration in a Post Execution Era Columbia University Center for Justice, October, 2021“More people have died in NY State custody in the last decade than the total of number of people executed in the 364 years New York State had the death penalty.”
  • Compassionate Release Data Report: Calendar Years 2020 to 2021 United States Sentencing Commission, September, 2021(This report contains charts and tables describing the 20,565 motions for compassionate release decided upon by the courts in 2020 and the first half of 2021; of those, just over 3,600 or 17.5% were granted.)
  • Nutrition in Midwestern State Department of Corrections Prisons: A Comparison of Nutritional Offerings Mitchel K. Holliday and Kelli M. Richardson, September, 2021“Sodium was offered in excess across 14 of the 15 menus reviewed. The average daily offering was 3,625 mg or 158% of the recommended level for males and 3,059 mg or 133% of recommended levels for females.”
  • 'I Refuse to Let Them Kill Me': Food, Violence, and the Maryland Correctional Food System The Maryland Food & Prison Abolition Project, September, 2021“Food in prison serves three fundamental functions: as an everyday mechanism of control, dehumanization, and punishment; as a site of exploitation and profit for private food service corporations; and as a form of violence and premature death.”(This report is divided into six parts, all of which are available at this link.)
  • Unsupportive environments and limited policies: Pregnancy, postpartum, and birth during incarceration Prison Policy Initiative, August, 2021“Jails, prisons, and youth facilities have yet to adequately recognize pregnancy and postpartum needs either in policy or in practice.”
  • Violence, Hunger, and Premature Death: How Prison Food in Maryland Became Even Worse During Covid-19 The Maryland Food & Prison Abolition Project, August, 2021“As atrocious as the correctional food systems were prior to 2020, however, the Covid-19 pandemic drastically exacerbated the crisis of prison food prison.”
  • Access in Brief: Health Care Needs of Adults Involved with the Criminal Justice System Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, August, 2021“When compared to their peers with other forms of coverage, Medicaid beneficiaries under community supervision were more likely to have Hepatitis B or C, chronic bronchitis, or asthma.”
  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics and the Justice Systems National Council for Mental Wellbeing, August, 2021“CCBHCs are required to deliver a comprehensive scope of services to meet clients' full [mental health/substance use] needs while integrating services with primary care.”
  • National Snapshot: Access to Medications For Opioid Use Disorder in U.S. Jails and Prisons Shelly Weizman, Joanna Perez, Isaac Manoff, Melissa Baney, and Taleed El-Sabawi, July, 2021“In almost every state, some form of MOUD is available in at least one jail or prison, and only a handful of state departments of corrections have policies against offering MOUD in prisons.”
  • Dead Man Waiting: A brief profile of deaths in Texas prisons among people approved for parole release Deitch, Michele, Destiny Moreno, and Alycia Welch, June, 2021“The data reveals that a large number of people die in Texas prisons each year even though the Parole Board had already determined that these individuals were worthy of parole and no longer presented a risk to public safety.”
  • New data: State prisons are increasingly deadly places Prison Policy Initiative, June, 2021“New data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that state prisons are seeing alarming rises in suicide, homicide, and drug and alcohol-related deaths.”
  • With over 2,700 deaths behind bars and slow vaccine acceptance, prisons and jails must continue to decarcerate Prison Policy Initiative, June, 2021“Just because vaccines are increasingly available does not mean that the COVID-19 crisis in prisons and jails is over - far from it. Yet new data show more prisons and jails are returning to "business as usual."”
  • Louisiana Deaths Behind Bars: 2015 - 2019 Incarceration Transparency, June, 2021“Prisons and jails should ideally have lower death rates than the general public due to the physical proximity of medical care behind bars, 24-hour staffing and supervision, and reduced probability of certain types of deaths, such as car accidents...”
  • Adequacy of Healthcare Provided In Louisiana State Prisons Loyola University, Louisiana State University, VOTE (Voices of the Experienced), May, 2021“The real-world minimum wage equivalent of [medical co-pays] for incarcerated people who earn incentive wages of $.02/per hour is: $1,087.5 for a routine visit, $2,175 for an emergency visit, and $725 for a prescription.”
  • Bottleneck: The Place of County Jails in California's COVID-19 Correctional Crisis Hadar Aviram, May, 2021“The closure of prisons created a bottleneck in jails, jamming the flow of residents in and out of county facilities. This resulted in serious overcrowding, which was documented in several lawsuits brought on behalf of jail population.”
  • Mortality in Local Jails, 2000-2018 - Statistical Tables Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2021“In 2018, a total of 1,120 inmates died in local jails, an increase of nearly 2% from the 1,099 deaths reported in 2017.”
  • Mortality in State and Federal Prisons, 2001-2018 - Statistical Tables Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2021“In 2018, a total of 4,135 state prisoners died in publicly or privately operated prisons, and an additional 378 federal prisoners died in facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).”
  • Hidden Figures: Rating the COVID Data Transparency of Prisons, Jails, and Juvenile Agencies COVID, Corrections, and Oversight Project, March, 2021“Correctional agencies -- especially jails and juvenile agencies -- are failing at publishing adequate data on how COVID is impacting the people who work and live in these institutions.”
  • The Reincorporation of Prisoners into the Body Politic: Eliminating the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy Mira K. Edmonds, March, 2021“Elimination of the [policy] furthers the bipartisan criminal legal system reform focus on reducing recidivism through effective reentry.”
  • Getting under the skin: Physiological stress and witnessing paternal arrest in young children with incarcerated fathers Paywall :( Luke Muentner, Amita Kapoor, Lindsay Weymouth, Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, February, 2021“Results indicate that children had higher cumulative stress hormone concentrations when they witnessed their father's arrest.”
  • Mass Incarceration and Children's Health: A State-Level Analysis of Adverse Birth Outcomes and Infant, Child, and Teen Mortality Paywall :( James M Conway, February, 2021“Results indicated that as hypothesized, incarceration rates positively predicted infant mortality, child mortality (for Black children only), preterm births, and low-weight births. Relationships tended to be stronger for Black than for white children.”
  • Association between county jail incarceration and cause-specific county mortality in the USA, 1987-2017: a retrospective, longitudinal study Sandhya Kajeepeta et al, February, 2021“Specifically, mortality caused by infectious disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, substance use, and suicide is the strongest driver of the association between jail incarceration and county mortality.”
  • Pregnancy Prevalence and Outcomes in 3 United States Juvenile Residential Systems Paywall :( Kim et al., February, 2021“There were 71 admissions of pregnant adolescents reported over 12 months from participating JRS. At the time of the census, 6 of the 183 female adolescents (3.3%) were pregnant.”
  • The Consequences Are Black and White: Race and Poor Health Following Incarceration Paywall :( Julie L. Kuper and Jillian J. Turanovic, February, 2021“Findings indicate that Black respondents reported within-person health declines that were more substantial than those of Whites after first incarceration. Additional analyses revealed that these race differences were more pronounced among Black males.”
  • The Opioid Epidemic and Homicide in the United States Paywall :( Richard Rosenfeld, Joel Wallman, Randolph Roth, January, 2021“Those who happen to live in communities with high opioid use...suffer from the impact of living in communities with high homicide rates.”
  • The Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on Prison Adjustment and Recidivism Among Military Veterans: Evidence from Minnesota Matthew W. Logan, Susan McNeeley, and Mark Morgan, January, 2021“Our results indicate that the effects of TBI, PTSD, and other indicators of criminogenic risk are relevant when examining the experiences of justice-involved military veterans--especially with respect to recidivism-based outcomes.”
  • Health Departments Taking Action on Incarceration: A Framework for Advancing Health Instead of Punishment During COVID-19 Human Impact Partners, January, 2021“We know that there is no way for anyone to be truly safe and healthy inside a jail, prison, or immigration detention center, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • Health Care Needs and Utilization Among New Yorkers With Criminal Justice System Involvement NYC Health, NYC Criminal Justice, and NYU Wagner, January, 2021“Individuals who have had any jail contact have a higher burden of disease, including chronic illness, multi-morbidity, mental health and substance use disorders, and greater health care utilization.”
  • Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2020 Sentencing Project, January, 2021“Incarcerated people are nearly 5X more likely to get COVID-19 compared to the general population. Yet only a handful of states took steps to decarcerate in 2020.”
  • Pregnant Women in DOJ Custody: U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Prisons Should Better Align Policies with National Guidelines United States Government Accountability Office, January, 2021“By taking steps to more closely align agency standards and policies with national guidance as feasible, USMS and BOP would be better positioned to help ensure the health of pregnant women in their custody.”
  • Experience to Action: Reshaping Criminal Justice After COVID-19 Council on Criminal Justice, December, 2020“The size, scale, and scope of the criminal justice system, along with the absence of effective public health coordination, posed a significant obstacle to COVID-19 prevention and control.”
  • Prisons shouldn't be charging medical co-pays - especially during a pandemic Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2020“Most states are still charging medical co-pays in prisons despite the ongoing pandemic.”
  • Since you asked: Just how overcrowded were prisons before the pandemic and how overcrowded are they now? Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2020“41 states are currently operating at 75% or more of their capacity, with at least 10 of those state prison systems and the federal Bureau of Prisons operating at more than 100%.”
  • Hotbeds of Infection: How ICE Detention Contributed to the Spread of COVID-19 in the United States Detention Watch Network, December, 2020“ICE's failure to release people from detention during the pandemic added over 245,000 cases to the total U.S. caseload.”
  • COVID and Corrections: A Profile of COVID Deaths in Custody in Texas COVID, Corrections, and Oversight Project, November, 2020“In one prison, the Duncan Unit, almost 6% of the incarcerated population has died.”
  • Medicaid's Evolving Role in Advancing the Health of People Involved in the Justice System The Commonwealth Fund, November, 2020“Siloes between correctional and community health care providers disrupt care coordination and create gaps in treatment and health services that can be life-threatening.”
  • Understanding Health Reform As Justice Reform: Medicaid, Care Coordination, and Community Supervision Square One Project, October, 2020“Health system reform built upon the foundation of Medicaid programs can provide many of the health and social supports needed to help people with health problems successfully return and remain in their communities.”
  • Unmasked: Impacts of Pandemic Policing COVID19 Policing Project, October, 2020“Black people specifically were 4.5 times more likely to be policed and punished for violations of COVID-19 orders than white people.”
  • Misunderstood and Mistreated: How Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Experience the Texas Criminal Legal System Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, October, 2020“Approximately 14,700 people with I/DDs are currently incarcerated in Texas.”
  • report thumbnail Lives on the Line: Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones and the Impact of COVID-19 Behind Bars Essie Justice Group and Color of Change, September, 2020(Only 7% of respondents reported that their incarcerated loved one had adequate access to basic necessities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.)
  • Youth Justice Under the Coronavirus: Linking Public Health Protections with the Movement for Youth Decarceration Sentencing Project, September, 2020“Despite almost two decades of declines in U.S. youth incarceration, The Sentencing Project reveals more than 1,800 incarcerated youth have tested positive for COVID-19 since March, including more than 300 cases in Florida and Texas.”
  • Medicare and People Leaving Incarceration: A Primer for California Advocates During the Pandemic Justice in Aging, August, 2020“Though access to Medicare benefits is suspended during incarceration, Medicare enrollment rules remain in place. This affects both individuals who turn 65 while in custody and those who were enrolled in Medicare before incarceration.”
  • 96 Deaths in Detention: A View of COVID-19 in the Federal Bureau of Prisons as Captured in Death Notices World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School, August, 2020“They reveal substantial shortcomings that are an indictment of the Bureau, the Department of Justice, and the current Administration, and the American public that has proven too willing to write off the lives of millions of incarcerated people.”
  • County-level jail incarceration and preterm birth among non-Hispanic Black and white U.S. women, 1999-2015 Paywall :( Jaquelyn L. Jahn, Jarvis T. Chen, Madina Agenor, Nancy Krieger, July, 2020“Jail incarceration increases non-Hispanic Black and White women's risk of preterm birth.”
  • Aligning Correctional Health Standards With Medicaid-Covered Benefits Marin G. Olson, Utsha G. Khatri, Tyler N. A. Winkelman, July, 2020“Few correctional facilities have formal accreditation, and even accredited facilities do not always meet constitutional requirements.”
  • Incarceration Weakens a Community's Immune System: Mass Incarceration and COVID-19 Cases in Milwaukee Preliminary Results Measures for Justice, June, 2020“The number of incarcerations is a strong predictor of the number of COVID-19 cases above and beyond the effect of other predictors in the model, including poverty, unemployment, and population not in the labor force.”
  • report thumbnail Failing Grades: States' Responses to COVID-19 in Jails & Prisons Prison Policy Initiative and ACLU, June, 2020“Despite all of the information, voices calling for action, and the obvious need, state responses ranged from disorganized or ineffective, at best, to callously nonexistent at worst.”
  • No Excuses: Governors Must Pursue Decarceration Along With Investments in Reentry Services The Justice Collaborative Institute, June, 2020“Meaningful reentry services are available and can be expanded by building upon a large network of existing programs.”
  • Improving Health Equity for Women Involved in the Criminal Legal System Golembeski et al., May, 2020“We delineate reproductive health and motherhood, aging in prison, and reentry as critical areas exemplifying women's complex health-related needs, which may be best addressed via gender-responsive and trauma-informed care.”
  • Examining the Relationship Between Incarceration and Population Health: The Roles of Region and Urbanicity Paywall :( Robert R. Weidner and Jennifer Schultz, May, 2020“Results indicate that level of incarceration has a detrimental effect on both mortality (i.e., premature death) and morbidity (i.e., self-reported health), and that these effects are more pronounced in rural and Southern counties.”
  • Post-release mortality among persons hospitalized during their incarceration Paywall :( David L. Rosen, Andrew L. Kavee, Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, April, 2020“People hospitalized during incarceration constitute a particularly vulnerable, yet relatively easily identifiable priority population to focus health interventions supporting continuity of care following prison release.”
  • Hepatitis C Litigation: Healing Inmates as a Public Health Strategy Robert Katz, April, 2020“When an inmate HCV lawsuit brings about the universal treatment of infected inmates, it simultaneously vindicates the inmates' Eighth Amendment rights and maximally advances the public health goal of eradicating HCV. I”
  • Physical Health and Disability Among U.S. Adults Recently on Community Supervision Paywall :( Tyler N. A. Winkelman, Michelle S. Phelps, Kelly Lyn Mitchell, Latasha Jennings, and Rebecca J. Shlafer, April, 2020“Compared to the general population, adults recently on community supervision were significantly more likely to report fair or poor health, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis B or C, one or more chronic conditions, and any disability.”
  • (New) Does distance decrease healthcare options for pregnant, incarcerated people? Mapping the distance between abortion providers and prisons Paywall :( Julia Gips, Kevin J. Psoter, and Carolyn Sufrin, April, 2020“We georeferenced 643 abortion clinics, 75 state prisons and 20 federal prisons. The farthest minimum distance between a state prison and abortion clinic was 383 miles; the shortest was 2.2 miles.”
  • Protecting Rural Jails from Coronavirus Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative, April, 2020“Our analysis shows that a significant percentage of people being held in jails--12% nationally and over a third in some states--are housed in counties without any ICU beds.”
  • Hundreds are still jailed for technical parole violations in NYC, which means decarceration is happening far too slowly Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2020“As of April 22nd, there were still 293 people held in NYC jails for technical parole violations:”
  • Rikers 6-A Early Release Program: Results After One Month of Operations Center for Court Innovation, April, 2020“After one month of operations, only 7 of the 312 released individuals--2.2 percent--have been re-arrested while in the program. Of these, 4 were for alleged misdemeanor offenses.”
  • report thumbnail Since you asked: Is social distancing possible behind bars? Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2020“The short answer is no - social distancing is even harder behind bars than in nursing homes or on cruise ships.”
  • Contraception need and available services among incarcerated women in the United States: a systematic review Mishka S. Peart & Andrea K. Knittel, March, 2020“Incarcerated women desire access to standard and emergency contraception from carceral health care systems.”
  • Opioid use disorder incidence and treatment among incarcerated pregnant women in the United States: results from a national surveillance study Paywall :( Sufrin et al., February, 2020“Twenty-six per cent of pregnant women admitted to prisons and 14% to jails had OUD. One-third were managed through withdrawal. The majority who were prescribed MOUD were on methadone (78%, prisons; 81%, jails), not buprenorphine.”
  • Mortality in Local Jails, 2000-2016 Bureau of Justice Statistics, February, 2020“From 2006 to 2016, suicide was the leading single cause of death in local jails each year; it accounted for nearly a third of jail deaths in 2016 (31%).”
  • Mortality in State and Federal Prisons, 2001-2016 Bureau of Justice Statistics, February, 2020“The number of deaths in state prisons rose 1.3% from 2015 to 2016 (from 3,682 to 3,729), while the number of deaths in federal prisons fell 15% (from 455 to 388).”
  • Health Behaviors and Outcomes Associated With Personal and Family History of Criminal Justice System Involvement, New York City, 2017 Paywall :( Maria Baquero, Kimberly Zweig, and Sharon B. Meropol, January, 2020“New York City adults with personal or family CJS involvement, or both, were more likely to report adverse health outcomes and behaviors.”
  • County Jail Incarceration Rates and County Mortality Rates in the United States, 1987-2016 Sandhya Kajeepeta, Caroline G. Rutherford, Katherine M. Keyes, Abdulrahman M. El-Sayed, and Seth J. Prins, January, 2020“Within-county increases in jail incarceration rates are associated with increases in subsequent mortality rates after adjusting for important confounders.”
  • Prisons neglect pregnant women in their healthcare policies Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2019“Our 50-state survey finds that in spite of national standards, most states lack important policies on prenatal care and nutrition for pregnant women.”
  • We know how to prevent opioid overdose deaths for people leaving prison. So why are prisons doing nothing? Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2019“Proven treatments for opioid use disorders exist -- they just aren't accessible to people in and recently released from prison.”
  • Mass incarceration and public health: the association between black jail incarceration and adverse birth outcomes among black women in Louisiana Lauren Dyer, Rachel Hardeman, Dovile Vilda, Katherine Theall & Maeve Wallace, December, 2019(This analysis of births among black women in Louisiana demonstrated that higher parish-level incarceration prevalence for black individuals were associated with significantly greater risks for preterm birth among parish residents.)
  • The 'Olympic Hurdles' of Obtaining Federal Benefits for Inmates with Disabilities: A Study of Two Massachusetts County Jails Paywall :( Shahrzad Sajadi, November, 2019“Complicated application procedures [for governmental assistance] often result in the formerly jailed returning to prior lifestyles and rearrests. This study explores SSI/SSDI systems at two Massachusetts county jails.”
  • Association of Punitive and Reporting State Policies Related to Substance Use in Pregnancy With Rates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Laura J. Faherty, Ashley M. Kranz, Joshua Russell-Fritch, et al., November, 2019(Punitive policies related to substance use in pregnancy were not associated with a reduction in (neonatal abstinence syndrome) NAS rates, and in fact, these policies may have been associated with an increase in rates of NAS.)
  • Incarceration Exposure and Maternal Food Insecurity During Pregnancy: Findings from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), 2004-2015 Paywall :( Alexander Testa and Dylan B. Jackson, October, 2019“Exposure to incarceration either personally or vicariously through a partner is associated with a 165% increase in the odds of food insecurity.”
  • Summit Food Services Provides Inadequate Nutrition at Missouri Jail Kevin Bliss, Prison Legal News, October, 2019“[An independent registered dietitian's] report stated, "the food is too high in sodium, too high in processed, refined carbohydrates and sugars and too low in fiber."”
  • Acute Care for Patients Who Are Incarcerated: A Review Paywall :( Lawrence A. Haber, Hans P. Erickson, Sumant R. Ranji, et al, September, 2019“Patients who are incarcerated have a protected right to health care but may experience exceptions to physical comfort, health privacy, and informed decision-making in the acute care setting.”
  • Age-Standardized Mortality of Persons on Probation, in Jail, or in State Prison and the General Population, 2001-2012 Paywall :( Christopher Wildeman, Alyssa W. Goldman, and Emily A. Wang, August, 2019“Persons on probation died at a rate 3.42 times higher than persons in jail, 2.81 times higher than persons in state prison, and 2.10 times higher than the general US population.”
  • Drug use in the year after prison Paywall :( Bruce Western, Jessica T. Simes, August, 2019“Results suggest that in a Medicaid expansion state where health coverage is widely provided to people leaving prison, formerly-incarcerated men and women use medications, not illegal drugs, to address their health needs.”
  • Examining the relationship between U.S. incarceration rates and population health at the county level Robert R. Weidner and Jennifer Schultz, August, 2019“Results of our analyses indicate that higher levels of incarceration are associated with higher levels of both morbidity (percentage reporting fair or poor health) and mortality (life expectancy).”
  • The Influence of Familial Social Support on Physical Health During Reentry Paywall :( Chantal Fahmy and Danielle Wallace, August, 2019“The results suggest that social support has important repercussions on one's physical health and thus success at reintegration.”
  • Preventing Suicide and Self-Harm in Jail: A Sentinel Events Approach Vera Institute of Justice, July, 2019“Research and guidance from experts demonstrate that it is possible to forestall suicides in custody with a comprehensive suicide prevention program.”
  • The Effect of Public Health Insurance on Criminal Recidivism Erkmen Giray Aslim, Murat C. Mungan, Carlos Navarro, and Han Yu, July, 2019“Exploiting administrative data on prison spells, we show that the ACA Medicaid coverage expansion significantly reduces the probability of returning to prison for violent and public order crimes among multi-time reoffenders.”
  • Decreasing HIV transmissions to African American women through interventions for men living with HIV post-incarceration: An agent-based modeling study Adams et al., July, 2019“Interventions to improve care engagement and decrease sexual risk behaviors post-incarceration for men living with HIV have the potential to decrease HIV incidence within African American heterosexual networks.”
  • Not in my Exam Room: How U.S. Immigration Enforcement Is Obstructing Medical Care Physicians for Human Rights, June, 2019“Public health research has documented widening racial and ethnic health disparities as a result of punitive and discriminatory immigration enforcement practices within the militarized border zone.”
  • Incarceration and opioid withdrawal: The experiences of methadone patients and out-of-treatment heroin users Mitchell et al., June, 2019(Withdrawal is infrequently treated and represents a lost opportunity to engage or retain heroin addicted individuals in treatment and thereby reduce their risk for HIV, for overdose deaths, and for recidivism to drug use and crime.)
  • Linkages Between Incarceration and Health Michael Massoglia and Brianna Remster, May, 2019“Incarceration is associated with worse health for all formerly incarcerated persons compared with never incarcerated persons.”
  • Criminal Justice Contact and Health Service Utilization among Women across Health Care Settings: Analyzing the Role of Arrest Paywall :( Kathryn M. Nowotny, Anastasiia Kuptsevych-Timmer, Carrie Oser, March, 2019“Specifically, women recently arrested are hospitalized and seek care at the emergency department at higher rates than non-recently arrested women and this may be associated with their vulnerable mental and behavioral health status.”
  • Pregnancy Outcomes in US Prisons, 2016-2017 Sufrin et al., March, 2019“Overall, 1396 pregnant women were admitted to prisons; 3.8% of newly admitted women and 0.6% of all women were pregnant in December 2016.”
  • Persistent and aggressive interactions with the police: potential mental health implications J.L. Hirschtick et al., February, 2019(Men reporting a high number of lifetime police stops have three times greater odds of current PTSD symptoms compared with men who did not report high lifetime police stops, even after adjusting for a range of factors.)
  • Promoting Reentry Success Through Increased Access to Social Security Benefit American Jail Association, February, 2019“Jails that connect people experiencing disabling health conditions to Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits programs can see significant reductions in recidivism rates.”
  • Associations between sex work laws and sex workers' health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of quantitative and qualitative studies Lucy Platt et al., December, 2018“The public health evidence clearly shows the harms associated with all forms of sex work criminalization, including regulatory systems, which effectively leave the most marginalized, and typically the majority of, sex workers outside of the law.”
  • Potential drivers of HIV acquisition in African-American women related to mass incarceration: An agent-based modelling study Joella Adams et al., December, 2018“Using Philadelphia as a case study, we found that the mass incarceration of African American men can substantially increase the number of HIV transmissions to African American women within the community.”
  • Expanding Medicaid Access to Halfway House Residents: Early Qualitative Findings from Connecticut's Experience Urban Institute, December, 2018“Residents no longer have to contend with their fears of returning to the medical unit of a correctional facility for care, and they perceive that Medicaid gives them access to their choice of higher-quality providers.”
  • A Public Health Strategy for the Opioid Crisis Saloner et al., November, 2018“A tough-on-crime approach has a high likelihood of backfiring: overzealous law enforcement can lead fewer people to come forward when their companions are overdosing, thereby increasing health risks.”
  • Avoiding the Runaround: The Link Between Cultural Health Capital and Health Management Among Older Prisoners Paywall :( Meghan A. Novisky, July, 2018“Findings show that older prisoners make deliberate choices to protect their health from the constraints and deprivations inherent in their carceral lives.”
  • The High Costs of Low Risk: The Crisis of America's Aging Prison Population The Osborne Association, May, 2018
  • Integrated Health Care and Criminal Justice Data Viewing the Intersection of Public Safety, Public Health, and Public Policy Through a New Lens: Lessons from Camden, NJ Harvard Kennedy School, April, 2018(This study suggests that we should shift from reacting to immediate health & crime crises as distinct events to focusing on holistic approaches that result in better individual outcomes, increased public safety, and reduced system costs.)
  • The Detention and Forced Medical Treatment of Pregnant Women: A Human Rights Perspective American Constitution Society, March, 2018(This report argues that laws authorizing the detention and forced medical treatment of pregnant women suspected of drug or alcohol abuse violate human rights standards and are a mistaken legal response to address individual and public health issues.)
  • Keeping Kids and Parents Together: A Healthier Approach to Sentencing in Louisiana Human Impact Partners, March, 2018“In this report, we evaluate the health and equity impacts of Primary Caretaker legislation in the state of Louisiana. If passed, this legislation would expand the ability to set community-based sentences for parents.”
  • Jails: Inadvertent Health Care Providers: How county correctional facilities are playing a role in the safety net The Pew Charitable Trusts, January, 2018(This report examines two ways in which jails can deliver healthcare more effectively: by providing high-value care within their walls and by facilitating well-designed health handoffs to community providers at re-entry.)
  • Racial disparities in health conditions among prisoners compared with the general population Kathryn M. Nowotny, Richard G. Rogers, Jason D. Boardman, December, 2017“The incarcerated population generally has worse health than the noninstitutionalized population, especially for hypertension, heart problems, asthma, kidney problems, stroke, arthritis, and cancer.”
  • How the Criminalization of Pregnancy Robs Women of Reproductive Autonomy Michele Goodwin, November, 2017“More than one-third of states consider pregnant women's illicit drug use a form of child abuse, resulting in unprecedented forms of criminal and civil punishment”
  • Injuries associated with bunk beds that occur in jail Randall T. Lodera and Jocelyn Cole Young, October, 2017“Jails account for 29% of all bunk bed injuries resulting in an ED visit in the USA (for people age 10 and over). Addressing this problem will require a multidisciplinary approach involving medicine, material engineering, and criminal justice.”
  • Prison Health Care: Costs and Quality The Pew Charitable Trust, October, 2017(This report paint a comprehensive picture of how states fund and deliver prison health care, how they compare with one another, and some reasons for differences.)
  • The parallel epidemics of incarceration & HIV in the Deep South Prison Policy Initiative, September, 2017“HIV disproportionately impacts communities that are already marginalized by poverty, inadequate resources, discrimination -- and mass incarceration.”
  • Forensic Patients in State Psychiatric Hospitals: 1999-2016 National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, September, 2017“The results from this study indicate that, over a little less than two decades, states have seen an increase in the number of forensic patients who are present in their state hospitals.”
  • Prisoners in Ohio's Execution List Defined By Intellectual Impairment, Mental Illness, Trauma, and Young Age Fair Punishment Project, August, 2017“Ohio is poised to violate constitutional limitations by scheduling the executions of nearly a dozen individuals with devastating impairments, including mental illnesses, childhood abuse, and intellectual disabilities.”
  • Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Use of Restrictive Housing for Inmates with Mental Illness U.S. Department of Justice, July, 2017“BOP Policies Do Not Adequately Address the Confinement of Inmates with Mental Illness in RHUs, and the BOP Does Not Sufficiently Track or Monitor Such Inmates”
  • BJS report: Drug abuse and addiction at the root of 21% of crimes Prison Policy Initiative, June, 2017“More than half of the state prison population and two-thirds of the sentenced jail population report drug dependence or abuse, compared to just 5% of the adult general population.”
  • America's Toxic Prisons: The Environmental Injustices of Mass Incarceration Earth Island Journal and Truthout, June, 2017“The toxic impact of prisons extends far beyond any individual prison, or any specific region in the United States. Mass incarceration in the US impacts the health of prisoners, prison-adjacent communities, and local ecosystems from coast to coast.”
  • Neither Justice nor Treatment: Drug Courts in the United States Physicians for Human Rights, June, 2017“Overall, PHR found that drug courts largely failed at providing treatment to those who truly needed it, and filled up limited treatment spaces with court-mandated patients who didn't always need the care.”
  • Incarceration shortens life expectancy Prison Policy Initiative, June, 2017“Each year in prison takes 2 years off an individual's life expectancy. With over 2.3 million people locked up, mass incarceration has shortened the overall U.S. life expectancy by 5 years.”
  • Unpacking the connections between race, incarceration, and women's HIV rates Prison Policy Initiative, May, 2017“If it weren't for the racial disparity in male incarceration rates, Black women would have lower rates of HIV infection than white women.”
  • When did prisons become acceptable mental healthcare facilities? Stanford Law School Three Strikes Project, May, 2017“While the overall state prison population has decreased dramatically, the number of prisoners with mental illness continues to climb and is expected grow in the years ahead.”
  • Criminalizing Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the USA Amnesty International, May, 2017“Often known as "fetal assault", "chemical endangerment" or "personhood" laws, these measures have been used to arrest and prosecute women who experience pregnancy complications and conditions such as drug dependence.”
  • Using Time to Reduce Crime: Federal Prisoner Survey Results Show Ways to Reduce Recidivism Families Against Mandatory Minimums, May, 2017“An estimated 45 percent of federal prisoners have mental health and behavioral problems...Two-thirds of prisoners who responded to our survey said they had not received mental or behavioral health counseling while in federal prison.”
  • Mass incarceration, public health, and widening inequality in the USA Christopher Wildeman, Emily A Wang, April, 2017“Soaring incarceration since the mid-1970s has profoundly affected health in the USA, especially in poor and minority communities.”
  • A Crisis in Search of Data: The Revolving Door of Serious Mental Illness in Super Utilization Treatment Advocacy Center, April, 2017“National or state-level data that quantify the role and cost of individuals with serious mental illness on law enforcement, corrections, emergency medical or homelessness services do not exist. ”
  • The steep cost of medical co-pays in prison puts health at risk Wendy Sawyer, Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2017“In Michigan, it would take over a week to earn enough for a single $5 co-pay, making it the free world equivalent of over $300. In 13 states co-pays are equivalent to charging minimum wage workers more than $200.”
  • Food for thought: Prison food is a public health problem Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2017“Administrators looking to save a few cents per meal have traded a healthy food service program for processed foods that make incarcerated people sick.”
  • Unlocking solitary confinement: Ending Extreme Isolation in Nevada State Prisons The ACLU of Nevada, Solitary Watch, Nevada Disability Advocacy & Law Center, February, 2017“In this report, we found that solitary confinement is, in fact, widely used in the state of Nevada, often for prolonged periods of time, and that many of the people held there are denied basic human needs like daily exercise and sufficient medical care.”
  • A New Normal: Helping the Criminal Justice System Address Opioid Overdoses Vera Institute of Justice, February, 2017“[O]ver the last decade communities and public officials have increasingly called for an approach to drug use that employs harm reduction principles, making the issue a public health concern rather than one to be managed by the criminal justice system.”
  • An Examination of Care Practices of Pregnant Women Incarcerated in Jail Facilities in the United States C. M. Kelsey, Nickole Medel, Carson Mullins, Danielle Dallaire, Catherine Forestell, February, 2017(In this first study to examine practices in regional jails nationwide, we found evidence that standards of care guidelines to improve health and well-being of pregnant incarcerated women are not being followed in many facilities.)
  • The Death Penalty in Five Florida Counties: Disproportionately Used Against Persons with Significant Mental Impairments Fair Punishment Project, January, 2017“These findings have raised a legitimate question as to whether Florida's capital punishment scheme-even one with a unanimous jury requirement- is capable of limiting application of the death penalty to the most culpable offenders.”
  • Health Insurance Trends and Access to Behavioral Healthcare Among Justice-Involved Individuals--United States, 2008-2014 Tyler N. A. Winkelman et al., December, 2016(High uninsurance rates, lack of care coordination, and poor access to high quality behavioral health treatment are critical public health issues given the prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders among justice-involved individuals.)
  • The life-threatening reality of short jail stays Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2016“Suicide continues to be the leading cause of death in local jails.”
  • We are not disposable: The Toxic Impacts of Prisons and Jails Californians United for a Responsible Budget, October, 2016“Pollution and environmental degradation created by prisons and jails exacerbate public health risks for not only incarcerated people but also for the local communities where detention facilities are sited.”
  • Correcting Food Policy in Washington Prisons: How the DOC Makes Healthy Food Choices Impossible for Incarcerated People & What Can Be Done Prison Voice Washington, October, 2016“When the Department of Corrections turned over responsibility for food services to Correctional Industries (CI)...it substituted 95% industrialized, plastic-wrapped, sugar-filled "food products" for locally prepared healthy food.”
  • Locked Up and Locked Down: Segregation of Inmates with Mental Illness Anna Guy, Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities Prison Project, September, 2016“[Protection and Advocacy Agencies] have received countless reports of abuse and neglect of inmates in segregation, including prolonged isolation, deplorable conditions, inadequate care, increased self-harm and suicide attempts, and even death.”
  • Texas Custodial Death Report Police, jail, and prison deaths 2005-2015 Texas Justice Initiative, July, 2016(This report examines who is dying in the Texas criminal justice system and how they are dying.)
  • National Survey of Prison Health Care: Selected Findings U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, July, 2016“This report presents selected findings on the provision of health care services in U.S. state prisons.”
  • Breaking Promises: Violations of the Massachusetts Pregnancy Standards & Anti-Shackling Law The Prison Birth Project and Prisoners' Legal Services of Massachusetts, May, 2016“Far too often Massachusetts prisons and jails violate the law in both policy and practice, undermining the public will and subjecting pregnant women to illegal, unsafe, and degrading treatment.”
  • Assessing Inmate Cause of Death: Deaths in Custody Reporting Program and National Death Index Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2016“The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has collected data annually on inmates who died in state prison and local jail and the circumstances surrounding these deaths since...2000.”
  • Collateral Damage: The Health Effects of Invasive Police Encounters in New York City Abigail A. Sewell and Kevin A. Jefferson, April, 2016“It shows that, holding constant crime levels, segregation measures, and known sociodemographic correlates of health, community-level Terry stop patterns associate with individual-level illness.”
  • Paying the Price: Failure to Deliver HIV Services in Lousiana Parish Jails Human Rights Watch, 2016“The state of Louisiana is 'ground zero' for the dual epidemics of HIV and incarceration.”
  • Improving the Food Environment in Washington State-Run Correctional Facilities: The Healthy Commissary Project Alyssa Auvinen et al., August, 2015“The Healthy Commissary Project demonstrates the feasibility of partnerships between health departments, corrections, and advocacy organizations to implement effective nutrition interventions in correctional facility commissaries.”
  • Breaking the Silence: Civil and Human Rights Violations Resulting from Medical Neglect and Abuse of Women of Color in Los Angeles County Jails Dignity and Power Now, August, 2015“This Report by Dignity and Power Now ("DPN") documents how jail and prison officials violated the rights of seven women of color, and highlights the mental health consequences of the medical neglect and abuse these women suffered.”
  • Callous and Cruel: Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons Human Rights Watch, May, 2015“This 127-page report details incidents in which correctional staff have deluged prisoners with painful chemical sprays, shocked them with powerful electric stun weapons, and strapped them for days in restraining chairs or beds.”
  • Arrest-Related Deaths Program: Data Quality Profile Bureau of Justice Statistics, March, 2015“Data from the ARD represent a national accounting of persons who have died during the process of arrest, including homicides by law enforcement personnel and deaths attributed to suicide, intoxication, accidental injury, and natural causes.”
  • Reproductive Injustice: The State of Reproductive Health Care for Women in New York State Prisons Correctional Association of New York, February, 2015“Overall, however, we found that reproductive health care for women in New York State prisons is woefully substandard, with women routinely facing poor-quality care and assaults on their basic human dignity and reproductive rights.”
  • "If They Hand You a Paper, You Sign It": A Call to End the Sterilization of Women in Prison Rachel Roth and Sara L. Ainsworth, Hastings Women's Law Journal, January, 2015“[A] number of states allow the sterilization of incarcerated women—flouting important policy norms—and that medical providers and their professional organizations play key roles in sanctioning and carrying out these procedures.”
  • Bringing it all back home: Understanding the medical difficulties encountered by newly released prisoners in New Orleans, Louisiana William Lee Vail, Anjali Niyogi, Norris Henderson, and Ashley Wennerstrom, 2015“Most FIPs face significant barriers to access of healthcare, including lack of insurance, funding, knowledge of community services and social support. Importantly, there is an overall distrust of institutions and medical care systems.”
  • Why It's Inappropriate Not to Treat Incarcerated Patients with Opioid Agonist Therapy Sarah E. Wakeman, 2015“In addition to not offering treatment initiation for those who need it, most correctional facilities forcibly withdraw stable patients from opioid agonist therapy upon their entry into the criminal justice system.”
  • Reproductive Healthcare Experiences of Incarcerated Women: A Qualitative Study Paywall :( Sarah O'Connor and Rebecca Perkins, 2015“Most women described fragmentation of care with inability to consistently access reproductive and prenatal healthcare services. Frequent transitions between institutions exacerbated problems with access.”
  • Medical Isolation and Solitary Confinement: Balancing Health and Humanity in US Jails and Prisons During COVID-19 David H. Cloud, Cyrus Ahalt, Dallas Augustine, David Sears MD & Brie Williams, 2015“Any effective and ethical medical isolation and quarantine program in US jails and prisons must be preceded by the immediate release of as many people as possible from jails and prisons to ensure that adequate physical space & medical staff are available.”
  • No Escape: Exposure to Toxic Coal Waste at State Correctional Institution Fayette Abolitionist Law Center, September, 2014“More than 81% of responding prisoners (61/75) reported respiratory, throat, and sinus conditions.”
  • Selected Issues in Mental Health and Corrections: A Collection and Summary of Research Disability Rights Nebraska, 2014“Although only 7% of inmates were in solitary confinement, they accounted for 53% of acts of self-harm.”
  • Facilitating Access to Health Care Coverage for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth Models for Change, December, 2013“Youth involved in the juvenile justice system have extensive physical and behavior health needs. The majority have at least one mental health condition and substance abuse is also very common.”
  • Mortality After Prison Release: Opioid Overdose and Other Causes of Death, Risk Factors, and Time Trends From 1999 to 2009 Ingrid A. Binswanger et al., October, 2013“The leading cause of death in former prisoners was overdose. Pharmaceutical opioids were the most common substances involved in these deaths.”
  • Managing Prison Health Care Spending The Pew Charitable Trust, The MacArthur Foundation, October, 2013“Pew found that prison health care spending in these 44 states totaled $6.5 billion in 2008, out of $36.8 billion in overall institutional correctional expenditures.”
  • Criminalization of HIV Transmission and Exposure: Research and Policy Agenda Zita Lazzarini et al., August, 2013“More than half the states have HIV-specific criminal laws, whereas all have traditional criminal provisions. Yet criminal laws have not been shown to be effective in reducing rates of HIV infection.”
  • A Death Before Dying: Solitary Confinement on Death Row ACLU, July, 2013“93 percent of states lock up their death row prisoners for 22 or more hours per day. Most of these prisoners live under conditions of extreme social isolation and enforced idleness.”
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado's continued warehousing of mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement ACLU of Colorado, July, 2013“As of March 2013, CDOC housed at least 87 seriously mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement, 54 of whom have been living in isolation for over a year and 14 of whom have been in solitary confinement for more than 4 years.”
  • Buried Alive: Solitary Confinement in the US Detention System Physicians for Human Rights, April, 2013“...solitary confinement can cause severe and lasting physiological/psychological harm. Moreover, in many cases, the resulting harm rises to the level of torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, in violation of domestic and international law.”
  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons' Compassionate Release Program U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector, General Evaluation and Inspections Division, April, 2013“Procedures and timeliness standards do not reference the compassionate release program or acknowledge the special circumstances of an inmate requesting compassionate release (particularly those with terminal medical conditions/limited life expectancies).”
  • Roe v Wade and the new Jane Crow: Reproductive rights in the age of mass incarceration Lynn Paltrow, January, 2013“Efforts to establish separate legal”
  • The Impact of Parental Incarceration on the Physical and Mental Health of Young Adults Rosalyn D. Lee, Xiangming Fang, and Feijun Luo, December, 2012“This study suggests exposure to parental incarceration in childhood is associated with health problems in young adulthood.”
  • The Answer is No: Too Little Compassionate Release in US Federal Prisons Human Rights Watch and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, November, 2012“To satisfy human rights requirements, prisoners should have access to judicial review or review by a similarly independent, objective tribunal that applies basic due process requirements to decisions regarding the lawfulness of their ongoing detention.”
  • The Price They Pay: Protecting the Mother-Child Relationship Through the Use of Prison Nurseries and Residential Parenting Programs Anne E. Jbara, October, 2012“Based on the emotional and cognitive benefits for both mothers and babies, the prison nursery program is a worthwhile addition to the prison system in the United States.”
  • "She Doesn't Deserve to be Treated Like This": Prisons as Sites of Reproductive Injustice Rachel Roth, Center for Women Policy Studies, July, 2012“[T]he well-established nature of women’s rights has not stopped prison and jail personnel from trying to deny women abortion care, or at least obstruct women’s access to abortion.”
  • At America's Expense The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly ACLU, June, 2012“Based on statistical analyses of available data, this report estimates that releasing an aging prisoner will save states, on average, $66,294 per year per prisoner, including healthcare, other public benefits, parole, and any housing costs or tax revenue.”
  • Eligibility and Capacity Impact Use of Flexibilities to Reduce Inmates' Time Government Accountability Office, February, 2012“Increased funding would have reduced the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program wait lists and enabled eligible inmates to enter the program early enough to earn their maximum allowable sentence reductions.”
  • Out and Down: The Effects of Incarceration on Psychiatric Disorders and Disability University of Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota, February, 2011“Incarceration has a robust relationship with subsequent mood disorders, related to feeling”
  • Report on Suicides Completed in the California Department of Corrections January 1, 2012 - June 30, 2912 Raymond F. Patterson, M.D., D.F.A.P.A., 2011“In 2012, a CDCR inmate died by suicide every 11.4 days on average.”
  • Criminal Justice Interventions for Offenders With Mental Illness Evaluation of Mental Health Courts in Bronx and Brooklyn, New York Urban Institute, 2011“Findings from the impact analysis indicate that mental health court participants are significantly less likely to recidivate, as compared to similar offenders with mental illness who experience business-as-usual court processing...”
  • Ending and Defending Against HIV Criminalization: State and Federal Laws and Prosecutions The Center for HIV Law and Policy, November, 2010“Thirty-two states and two U.S. territories have HIV-specific criminal statutes and thirty-six states have reported proceedings in which HIV-positive people have been arrested and/or prosecuted for consensual sex, biting, and spitting.”
  • Mothers Behind Bars: A state-by-state report card and analysis of federal policies on conditions of confinement for pregnant/parenting women The Rebecca Project for Human Rights and The National Women's Law Center, October, 2010“Pregnant women, incarcerated women and their children are subject to federal and state correctional policies that fail to recognize their distinct needs or honor their families.”
  • New York State Assisted Outpatient Program Evaluation New York State Department of Public Health, June, 2009
  • A randomized clinical trial of methadone maintenance for prisoners: Findings at 6 months post-release Michael S. Gordon et al., August, 2008“This study suggests that methadone maintenance treatment, provided to prisoners with histories of heroin addiction, may be an effective intervention for interrupting the cycle of relapse often experienced by individuals with heroin addiction histories.”
  • A Study of Methadone Maintenance For Male Prisoners: 3-Month Postrelease Outcomes Timothy W. Kinlock et al., July, 2008“Participants who received prison-initiated maintenance treatment were significantly more likely to enter community-based treatment than were inmates who received either information on how to access drug abuse treatment after release or counseling only”
  • HIV in Prisons, 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2008“The overall rate of estimated confirmed AIDS among the prison population (0.46%) was more than 2½ times the rate in the U.S. general population (0.17%).”
  • Perinatal Needs of Pregnant, Incarcerated Women Barbara A. Hotelling, April, 2008“Pregnant prisoners have health-care needs that are minimally met by prison systems.”
  • Medical Problems of Prisoners Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2008“An estimated 44% of state inmates and 39% of federal inmates reported a current medical problem other than a cold or virus.”
  • Health and Prisoner Reentry: How Physical, Mental, and Substance Abuse Conditions Shape the Process of Reintegration Urban Institute, February, 2008“Nearly all returning prisoners—8 in 10 men and 9 in 10 women—had chronic health conditions requiring treatment or management.”
  • Expert Report by Dr. Noel on Medical Care at Ely State Prison American Civil Liberties Union, December, 2007“[T]he medical care provided at Ely State Prison amounts to the grossest possible medical malpractice, and the most shocking and callous disregard for human life and human suffering, that I have ever encountered in the medical profession...”
  • HIV in Prisons, 2005 Bureau of Justice Statistics, September, 2007“There were 22,480 state and federal inmates who were HIV infected or had confirmed AIDS on Dec. 31, 2005, which was a decrease from 22,936 at the end of 2004... [t]he 2005 decline was the sixth consecutive year the number has fallen.”
  • Release from Prison A High Risk of Death for Former Inmates New England Journal of Medicine, January, 2007“The mortality rate among former inmates was 3.5 times (95% CI, 3.2 to 3.8) that among state residents of the same age, sex, and race. The attributable-risk percentage was 71%, amounting to 316 excess deaths.”
  • Release from Prison -- A High Risk of Death for Former Inmates Ingrid A. Binswanger et al., January, 2007“During the first 2 weeks after release from the Washington State Department of Corrections, the risk of death among former inmates was 12.7 times that among Washington State residents of the same age, sex, and race.”
  • Medical Causes of Death in State Prisons, 2001-2004 Bureau of Justice Statistics, January, 2007“Overall, 89 percent of all state prisoner deaths were attributed to medical conditions and 8 percent were due to suicide or homicide.”
  • HIV in Prisons, 2004 Bureau of Justice Statistics, November, 2006“The overall rate of confirmed AIDS among the prison population (0.50%) was more than 3 times the rate in the U.S. general population (0.15%).”(Although the percentage of prisoners with HIV has decresed, problems remain.)
  • Medical Problems of Jail Inmates Bureau of Justice Statistics, November, 2006“More than a third of jail inmates reported having a current medical problem.”
  • Incarceration as Forced Migration: Effects on Selected Community Health Outcomes James C. Thomas and Elizabeth Torrone, October, 2006“High rates of incarceration can have the unintended consequence of destabilizing communities and contributing to adverse health outcomes.”
  • Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates Bureau of Justice Statistics, September, 2006“Female inmates had higher rates of mental health problems than male inmates (State prisons: 73% of females and 55% of males; Federal prisons: 61% of females and 44% of males; local jails: 75% of females and 63% of males).”
  • The Spiral of Risk: Health Care Provision to Incarcerated Women National Council on Crime and Delinquency, March, 2006“Female offenders commonly face a wide range of serious health problems.... Their health problems typically predate their involvement in the justice system, are often exacerbated while they are imprisoned, and continue to deteriorate after release.”
  • Treatment Instead of Prisons: A Roadmap for Sentencing and Correctional Policy in Wisconsin Justice Strategies, January, 2006“Absent a major investment of tax dollars in treatment services, however, we found that the state is likely to face mounting prison populations pressures in coming years due to growth in nonviolent admissions and revocations of post-release supervision.”
  • Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Board on Health Sciences Policy, 2006(A review of current research practices regarding prison subjects with recommendations.)
  • HIV in Prisons, 2003 Bureau of Justice Statistics, September, 2005
  • Black Male Incarceration Rates and the Relatively High Rate of AIDS Infection Among African-American Women and Men Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley, July, 2005“Our results reveal that the higher incarceration rates among black males over this period explain a substantial share of the racial disparity in AIDS infection between black women and women of other racial and ethnic groups.”
  • HIV in Prisons and Jails, 2002 Bureau of Justice Statistics, December, 2004
  • Prison Needle Exchange: Lessons from a Comprehensive Review of International Evidence and Experience Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, October, 2004
  • Georgia's Aging Inmate Population Georgia Department of Corrections, June, 2004“Georgia, with a prison population in excess of 47,000 inmates has the sixth largest prison system in the nation. At the end of FY 2002 4,025 inmates, or nearly one in ten were 50 or older.”
  • Hepatitis Testing and Treatment in State Prisons Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2004
  • Corrections Health Care Costs Council of State Governments, January, 2004
  • HIV in Prisons, 2001 Bureau of Justice Statistics, January, 2004
  • Correctional Health: The Missing Key to Improving the Public's Health and Safety Massachusetts Public Health Association, October, 2003
  • "Do no harm" or "Do no expense"?: Ohio's prisoners are dying from inadequate medical care Prison Policy Initiative, October, 2003“Ohio Department of Corrections' health care budget cuts and poor oversight is compromising the quality of care.”
  • Ill-Equipped: U.S. Prisons and Offenders with Mental Illness Human Rights Watch, October, 2003
  • Identifying the HIV/AIDS/STD-related Needs of African American Ex-Offenders Council on Crime and Justice, April, 2003“Health effects associated with incarceration exacerbate existing health disparities in the larger African American community.”
  • Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System The Current State of Knowledge Urban Institute, January, 2003“Prisoners are not getting the drug treatment programs that would reduce their drug abuse and criminal behavior.”
  • Prevention and Control of Infections with Hepatitis Viruses in Correctional Settings Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January, 2003
  • HIV in Prisons, 2000 Bureau of Justice Statistics, October, 2002
  • Treatment of Incarcerated Women With Substance Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), July, 2002
  • Consensus Project Report Criminal Justice / Mental Health Consensus Project, June, 2002(project coordinated by the Council of State Governments (CSG))
  • The War on Drugs and the War on Abortion: Some Initial Thoughts on the Connections, Intersections, and the Effects Lynn Paltrow, May, 2002(By recognizing the similarity between reproductive rights and the drug war there is an opportunity for a deeper understanding of each issue and a basis for developing analysis and action that can counteract the forces of punishment and prohibition.)
  • Disease Profile of Texas Prison Inmates National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), April, 2002
  • The Health Status of Soon-to-be-Released Inmates A Report to Congress National Commission on Correctional Health Care, March, 2002
  • Improving the Link Between Research and Drug Treatment in Correctional Settings Urban Institute, 2002
  • HIV in Prisons and Jails, 1999 Bureau of Justice Statistics, July, 2001
  • Mental Health Treatment in State Prisons Bureau of Justice Statistics, July, 2001(None of the prison systems have any idea how many mentally ill prisoners they have. Using the BJS reports for anything other than whether or not prisoners identified as mentally ill are actually receiving services would be a mistake.)
  • Incarceration of the Terminally Ill: Current Practices in the United States GRACE Project, March, 2001
  • Medical Problems of Inmates, 1997 Bureau of Justice Statistics, January, 2001“Presents survey data on offenders who were in prison who reported a medical problem since admission or a physical impairment or mental condition”
  • Federal Prisoner Health Care Copayment Act of 2000 Cost Estimate Congressional Budget Office, August, 2000“some indigent prisoners could not pay the fee, and that assessing such a fee would deter some prisoners from initiating some visits.”
  • Federal Prisons: Responses to Questions Related to Containing Health Care Costs for an Increasing Inmate Population General Accounting Office, June, 2000
  • Drug Use, Testing, and Treatment in Jails Bureau of Justice Statistics, May, 2000“Most Jails that test for drugs find at least one inmate who tests positive”
  • Federal Prisons: Containing Health Care Costs for an Increasing Inmate Population General Accounting Office, April, 2000
  • Federal Prisons: Containing Health Care Costs for an Increasing Inmate Population General Accounting Office, April, 2000
  • Health Care in New York State Prisons Correctional Association, February, 2000
  • From Prisons to Hospitals and Back The Criminalization of Mental Illness Campaign for an Effective Crime Policy, January, 2000
  • Abuse of Women in Custody: Sexual Misconduct and Shackling of Pregnant Women Amnesty International, 2000(includes a detailed state by state survey)
  • HIV in Prisons 1997 Bureau of Justice Statistics, November, 1999“Rates of HIV infection and AIDS-related deaths drop among the Nation's prisoners”
  • Mental Health and Treatment of Inmates and Probationers Bureau of Justice Statistics, July, 1999“More than a quarter million prison and jail inmates are identified as mentally ill”
  • Prisons and Jails: Hospitals of Last Resort: The Need for Diversion and Discharge Planning for Incarcerated People with Mental Illness in New York Correctional Association of New York and the Urban Justice Center, 1999
  • Report on the Psychiatric Management of John Salvi in Massachusetts Department of Correction Facilities 1995-1996 University of Massachusetts Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, January, 1997“...in our opinion, the number of full-time equivalent psychiatrists within the DOC is far too low to meet the psychiatric needs of the inmate population.”
  • Prison Suicide: An Overview and Guide to Prevention U.S. Department of Justice, June, 1995“During the past 10 years, the rate of suicide in prisons throughout the country was 20.6 deaths per 100,000 inmates. States with small prison populations appear to have exceedingly high rates of suicide -- often more than 2.5 times the national average.”

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