Public Health Approach to Incarceration

121212.jpgThis is an interesting article from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty. It gives a public health approach to incarceration, one that is a bit different than those of us in criminal justice system are used to. Here are some quotes:

“. . . Research also shows that even after accounting for material hardships occurring before imprisonment, paternal incarceration strongly increases material hardships for the incarcerated father’s family, defined as experiencing things like having the electricity turned off or not having enough money to make rent.”

“. . . Even when controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and familial characteristics, parental incarceration is independently linked to a number or poor health outcomes for children, including learning disabilities, behavioral or conduct problems, and developmental delays. . .”

Incarceration prevention includes problem-solving courts and evidence-based probation and parole including the HOPE program.

“Use more nuanced sentencing strategies . . . revise policy decisions [imposing mandatory minimums and elimination of parole] . . . [reduce} the potential punishment of drug offenders and [make it retroactive], and [commute sentences].

Here’s the full article.

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