The health disparities that exist in our communities are concentrated in the population that cycles in and out of our jails and prisons. Justice-involved populations have very high rates of physical illness, mental illness, and substance use disorders. And their health problems have significant impacts on the communities from which they come and to which, in nearly all cases, they will return.
Health and Incarceration is the summary of a workshop jointly sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Law and Justice and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Health and Select Populations in December 2012. Academics, practitioners, state officials, and other experts from the fields of health care, prisoner advocacy, and corrections reviewed what is known about these health and health care issues and what solutions may exist to improve the health of justice-involved populations.
The report summarizes what is known about the health of people in prison and jail, the health care they receive, and the effects of incarceration on public health and where and how improvements can be made.