On Life Support Public Health in the Age of Mass Incarceration

On Life Support Square V2

Overview

Mass incarceration is one of the major public health challenges facing the United States, as the millions of people cycling through the courts, jails, and prisons every year experience far higher rates of chronic health problems, substance use, and mental illness than the general population. Mass incarceration’s role as a driver of health disparities extends beyond prison walls as well, affecting the health of entire communities. This publication—the first in a series released as part of Vera’s Justice Reform for Healthy Communities initiative—focuses on individual and community-level health impacts of incarceration with a focus on the relationship between mass incarceration and health disparities in communities of color and on opportunities presented by the Affordable Care Act.

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Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, and communities across the country are struggling to respond. But the punitive approach exemplified by the “war on drugs” has driven mass incarceration, exacerbated racial disparities within the criminal justice system, and devastated communities of color. The United State ...

Publication
  • Jason Tan de Bibiana, Charlotte Miller, Leah Pope, Susan Stellin, Jim Parsons, David Cloud
February 21, 2020
Publication