Strengthening Families and CommunitiesExpanding Access to Health Care

Public Health

The millions of predominantly poor and minority people who cycle through our nation’s courts, jails, and prisons every year have far higher rates of chronic health problems, infectious diseases, substance use, and serious mental illness than the general population. But instead of providing treatment, our overly punitive system often exacerbates their problems, sending people home in even worse condition.

Through an initiative called Justice Reform for Healthy Communities we’re applying a public health lens to the crisis of mass incarceration. Using the tools of and health policy, education, and ethics, it promotes interdisciplinary solutions that curb incarceration and boost public health in some of the country’s poorest communities. Now is the time: the Affordable Care Act and bi-partisan support for criminal justice reform create unprecedented opportunity for innovation.

Related Work

Changing Course in the Overdose Crisis

Moving from Punishment to Harm Reduction and Health

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 ...

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  • Jason Tan de Bibiana, Charlotte Miller, Leah Pope, Susan Stellin, Jim Parsons, David Cloud
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Impact of Having an Incarcerated Parent Lasts a Lifetime—and May Shorten It, Study Says

A recent study of the impact of parental incarceration on children  in the Netherlands found that children of incarcerated parents were more likely to die prematurely in adulthood than people whose parents have not been incarcerated.    While previous studies have examined the impact of parental incarceration on younger children, little literature ...

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  • Jack Duran
    Jack Duran
  • Karina Schroeder
    Karina Schroeder
January 23, 2018
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