Oregon Governor Signs Bill To Track Info About Jail Inmates

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation Wednesday that will require local and regional jails to provide the state with information about the people in their custody, as well as details about the health care inmates receive. “It is important as we seek to improve health care provided at local and regional correctional facilities that our efforts are based on good data …

Trump hailed Mississippi prison reforms. But the numbers reflect a grim reality.

When Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, signed House Bill 585 into law in 2014, the measure drew widespread praise from conservatives and liberals alike because it promised to reduce the prison population, save millions and reinvest some of the money into programs for offenders. Instead, all of those savings have gone back into the state’s coffers, helping to pay for huge …

Report: U.S. Incarceration Falls to 20-Year Low

The share of the adult population in prison has fallen to its lowest point since 1997, a new report released in April 2019 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows. To be sure, the United States does lead the world in per capita incarceration (although such counts tend to ignore political or religious prisoners, like the more than 100,000 Uyghurs likely being held in prison …

Giving ex-convicts healthcare helps all of us

The Transitions Clinic Network, founded by Yale Associate Professor Emily Wang manages the specific needs of patients with chronic illnesses on their release from prison, help improve their health outcomes, and facilitate their reintegration to the community. The program links people released from prison who have chronic illnesses with community health workers who also have a history of incarceration. They …

Coordination and Communication are Key to Improving Mental Health and Criminal Justice in America

Mental health and criminal justice are a tangled mess in communities all across the country. Rather than supporting health from childhood through old age, our social systems show hardly any signs of understanding mental health at all. We don’t systematically recognize or have the capacity to respond to early indications for concern, and instead rely upon law enforcement to intervene …

The Burden of Mental Illness Behind Bars

Today, about 14.5 percent of men and 31 percent of women in jails have a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder, compared to 3.2 and 4.9 percent, respectively, in the general population. While estimates vary, the prevalence of serious mental illnesses is at least two to four times higher among state prisoners than in community …

How mass incarceration harms U.S. health, in 5 charts

The evidence is clear: Mass incarceration is a public health scourge in the U.S.   Most people who die in jails are not convicted. Suicide rates for incarcerated individuals are three to four times higher than rates for the general public. In 1980, fewer than one percent of American children under 18 had a parent in prison or jail. By …

In Defense of Risk-Assessment Tools

It may seem weird to rely on an impersonal algorithm to predict a person’s behavior given the enormous stakes. But the gravity of the outcome—in cost, crime, and wasted human potential—is exactly why we should use an algorithm. Read the full article here.

Too Many People Are Calling 911. Here’s a Better Way.

A committee of civic, healthcare, and faith leaders launched a program called Rapid Assessment Decision And Redirection (RADAR). For weekday daytime calls that are very likely to be non-emergent in nature, Memphis partners with a faith-based organization, Resurrection Health, to steer residents away from the ER and send healthcare providers directly to them. For calls redirected to RADAR, Memphis dispatches a …