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February 9, 2020

American Journal of Public Health's supplement explores public health impact of carceral state

Download (10)I have just recently seen that the American Journal of Public Health has this big new "Supplement" with many articles under the headline "Documenting and Addressing the Health Impacts of Carceral Systems."  This short introduction to the issue closes this way:

Over the past 40 years, our society has deliberately divested from social and public goods designed to promote health and economic security while pumping resources into police, courts, and correctional systems that punish, impoverish, and dehumanize people and communities.

We conceptualized this special supplement to amplify the growing chorus of scholars, practitioners, and activists who are committed to ending mass incarceration.  As an interdisciplinary field, public health has a critical role to play by bringing our range of theoretical and analytic tools to bear on documenting and addressing the health impacts of carceral systems.  As conveyed in prior research and the articles in this supplement, mass incarceration has already caused incalculable damage to the health and vitality of our society.  As scholars working on these issues in local government, academia, advocacy, and the nonprofit world, we saw a need to further solidify recognition of mass incarceration as a sociostructural driver of health inequities in our field by devoting an entire supplement to this topic in a premier journal.

This supplement includes original research and essays that portray the myriad pathways through which carceral systems imperil the health of individuals, families, neighborhoods, and the population by compromising social determinants of health.  Collectively, it also offers visionary ideas and practical guidance for addressing these harms.  We hope it inspires public health scholars, advocates, and practitioners to continue devoting their intellect and energy to the topics covered.

We are thankful to everyone who submitted and contributed to this issue.  We are especially fortunate to have powerful pieces written by formerly incarcerated people who are working tirelessly to help those still locked down to find hope and dismantle carceral systems for future generations.  In addition, we thank the editors and staff at AJPH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for supporting this supplement and ensuring that the articles are available in an open-access format.  The aim was to ensure that the content finds its way beyond academic discourse and proves useful to all people fighting for health equity, decarceration, and racial justice.

This supplement includes nearly three dozen (relatively short) articles that ought of be of great interest to those interested in the intersections of criminal justice and public health. Here are just a few of the pieces that ought to be of particular interest to sentencing fans:

February 9, 2020 at 10:02 PM | Permalink


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