Current Prisons News and Events

Current Prisons News and Events, Prisons News Articles.
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Mass incarceration results in significant increases in industrial emissions, study finds
Mass incarceration is as much an environmental problem as it is a social one, according to a new Portland State University study that finds increases in incarceration are significantly associated with increases in industrial emissions. (2020-12-04)

Sanctuary policies protect immigrants but don't threaten public safety
Stanford researcher David Hausman analyzed ICE deportations data for 296 large counties combined with FBI crime data. Sanctuary counties experienced a significant decrease in deportations in the months after sanctuary policies were adopted. Deportations of individuals with violent convictions did not decrease, but deportation of individuals without convictions decreased by about half. Sanctuary policies did not have a significant effect on crime rates or the rate at which police arrested individuals for reported crimes. (2020-10-19)

Privatized prisons lead to more inmates, longer sentences, study finds
WSU study finds that when states turn to private prisons, the number of criminals incarcerated rises and the length of sentences increases. Private prisons lead to an average increase of 178 new prisoners per million population per year. At an average cost of $60 per day per prisoner, that costs states between $1.9 to $10.6 million per year, if all those additional prisoners are in private prisons. (2020-09-14)

GSA's journals publish three new articles on COVID-19 and Aging
The Gerontological Society of America's highly cited, peer-reviewed journals are continuing to publish scientific articles on COVID-19, and all are free to access. The following were published between July 24 and August 25; all are free to access. (2020-08-26)

Enzyme prisons
A team at the MDC has answered a question that has puzzled scientists for some 40 years. In the journal Cell, the group explains how cells are able to switch on completely different signaling pathways using only one signaling molecule: the nucleotide cAMP. To achieve this, the molecule is virtually imprisoned in nanometer-sized spaces. (2020-08-25)

Epidemiology of COVID-19 among incarcerated individuals, staff in Massachusetts jails, prisons
COVID-19 among incarcerated individuals and staff in Massachusetts jails and prisons is described in this observational study, which assesses the association of COVID-19 case rates with decarceration and testing rates. (2020-08-21)

Dignity and respect go a long way in county jail, new research shows
A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh study indicates a little respect and decency can go a long way in improving some aspects of America's criminal justice system. Matt Richie, an assistant criminal justice professor, recently published 'Managing the Rabble with Dignity and Respect,' in the Journal of Crime and Justice, a publication of the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association. His findings reveal a great deal of the work involves interpersonal communication skills rather than physical force. (2020-08-12)

Save black lives
The Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University and the Black Public Defender Association today released ''Save Black Lives: A Call for Racially-responsive Strategies and Resources for the Black Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic,'' a comprehensive report that details why public health responses and strategies to address COVID-19 must be centered around race and the criminal legal system. (2020-08-05)

Group-based smoking cessation help US inmates quit tobacco
Behavioral and nicotine replacement therapies offered together can help people who are incarcerated quit smoking, according to Rutgers researchers. (2020-07-30)

Expanded access to treatment in prisons can reduce overdose deaths by 31.6%, study finds
Using a microsimulation model, researchers at Brown predicted the number of opioid-related overdose deaths related to three different treatment options over the course of 8 years. (2020-07-22)

Mental health units in correctional facilities: Scarce data but promising outcomes
Specialized mental health units (MHUs) may be critical to managing the high rates of serious mental illness in incarcerated populations. But research data on unit characteristics, services provided, and outcomes achieved by MHUs in correctional facilities are scarce, according to a report in the July/August issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. (2020-07-13)

COVID-19 cases and deaths in federal and state prisons significantly higher than in US population
A new analysis led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the number of US prison residents who tested positive for COVID-19 was 5.5 times higher than the general US population. (2020-07-08)

COVID-19 in US prisons, jails
The importance of minimizing COVID-19 transmission in prisons and jails is described and policies and programs for doing so are detailed. (2020-04-28)

Gender-based violence in the COVID-19 pandemic
Gender-based violence has been shown to increase during global emergencies. In a paper just published by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, researchers report that according to early evidence it is the same for the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-04-20)

Patients most at risk of overdose at the beginning and after end of methadone treatment
A new study, led by RCSI researchers, has found that patients receiving methadone treatment are most at risk of overdosing in the month following the end of methadone treatment and during the first four weeks of treatment. (2020-02-20)

Solitary confinement significantly increases post-prison death risk
Even just a few days of solitary confinement may significantly increase inmates' risk of death after serving their sentences. (2020-02-05)

A conversation could be the answer to successful rehabilitation of prisoners
Researchers have found people on the brink of release from a prison sentence have lost any sense of being connected to the outside world and, as a result, become prejudiced towards wider society. A simple conversation could help. (2020-01-09)

Researchers challenge myth of the relationship between mental illness and incarceration
Researchers examined the relationship between psychiatric diagnoses and future incarceration by merging data from psychiatric interviews that took place in the 1980s with 30 years of follow-up data. Among other things, they found that diagnoses of substance use and antisocial personality were predictors of future incarceration but that other psychiatric diagnoses (i.e., schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, as well as some other psychiatric disorders) were not independent predictors. (2019-11-07)

World first on-the-spot test for synthetic drug 'spice' developed at University of Bath
A simple saliva test to detect if someone has recently taken the street drug ''spice'' has been developed at the University of Bath - the first such test ever created. (2019-10-30)

Risk assessment tools lead to fewer incarcerations without jeopardizing public safety
A sweeping study looking at an extensive collection of data -- involving more than a million offenders at 30 different Canadian and US research sites -- found that while fewer people were being locked up, crime rates showed some declines. (2019-10-28)

Immigrants who committed felonies less likely than nonimmigrants to commit another felony
A new study compared recidivism rates of foreign-born and native-born individuals formerly incarcerated for felonies and released from prisons in Florida. It found that immigrants are significantly less likely to reoffend by committing another felony than their nonimmigrant peers. (2019-09-18)

New research warns incentives to plead guilty can undermine the right to a fair trial
New research suggests that the right to a fair trial can be undermined by benefits associated with pleading guilty, and that such benefits are putting pressure on vulnerable defendants to admit to crimes they did not commit. (2019-09-11)

The Lancet Public Health: Incarceration and economic hardship strongly associated with drug-related deaths in the USA
Growing rates of incarceration in the USA since the mid-1970s may be linked with a rise in drug-related mortality, and may exacerbate the harmful health effects of economic hardship, according to an observational study involving 2,640 US counties between 1983 and 2014, published in The Lancet Public Health journal. (2019-07-03)

Private prisons have a political role in corrections issues in the US, researcher finds
Private prisons play a political role in immigration and incarceration issues in the United States and the industry may face obstacles as well as opportunities in the current political landscape, a new paper from an Oregon State University researcher suggests. (2019-06-25)

Early release rules for prisoners at end of life may be 'discriminatory,' say doctors
Doctors are calling for reform to rules governing when terminally ill prisoners are suitable for early release on compassionate grounds (ERCG) amid concerns that the current approach is discriminatory. (2019-06-12)

Prison-based college presents challenges, but can succeed, study finds
Interest in prison-based education has grown in recent years as an approach to reduce recidivism and improve the future of people who are incarcerated for crimes. A study of a North Carolina program finds that creating a prison-based program where incarcerated individuals can take college classes and then work toward a degree upon release can be successful, but many obstacles challenge the success of such efforts. (2019-05-22)

Widespread testing, treatment of Hepatitis C in US prisons improves outcomes
At current drug prices, testing all persons entering prison for Hepatitis C, treating those who have at least 12 months remaining in their sentence, and linking individuals with less than 12 months in their sentence to care upon their release would result in improved health outcomes. Published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers found that these approaches provide the best value-for-money compared to not testing or treating any prisoners, or only testing and treating prisoners at high risk of Hepatitis C (HCV). (2019-05-21)

Study explores privatization of public systems of justice
A new study sought to determine the points at which individuals who encounter public systems of justice are charged by private entities. The study found that private firms that work with public entities in the justice system charge money for their services at numerous points, that some of the charges are mandated, and that there is little transparency into or oversight over how these public-private partnerships operate. (2019-05-13)

Prison tobacco ban significantly reduces secondhand smoke
Levels of secondhand smoke in Scotland's prisons fell by more than 80% in the week after smoking was banned, according to new University of Stirling research. (2019-05-06)

Another victim of violence: Trust in those who mean no harm
Exposure to violence does not change the ability to learn who is likely to do harm, but it does damage the ability to place trust in 'good people,' psychologists at Yale and University of Oxford report April 26 in the journal Nature Communications (2019-04-26)

Researchers find method to prioritize treatment strategies in hepatitis C in US prisons
There are currently more than three million people in the US with hepatitis C, a condition that can lead to serious and even deadly liver complications. In the US prison system, the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is currently 10 times higher than the national average. However, new research in the INFORMS journal Operations Research, has identified new protocols that could substantially decrease HCV infection in the US prison system. (2019-03-22)

First of its kind statistics on pregnant women in US prisons
In what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind systematic look at pregnancy frequency and outcomes among imprisoned US women, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine say almost 1,400 pregnant women were admitted to 22 US state and all federal prisons in a recent year. They also found that most of the prison pregnancies -- over 90 percent -- ended in live births with no maternal deaths. (2019-03-21)

Former inmates need social supports to maintain mental health, Rutgers study says
Men released from prison who receive social, community and spiritual support have better mental health, according to a study by researchers at Rutgers School of Public Health. (2019-03-19)

How to treat depression in prison -- and why it matters
Of the 4 million prisoners released each year, 23 percent have suffered from major depressive disorder. Due to resource shortages, many go without adequate treatment while in prison. Oftentimes they rejoin society in worse mental shape than before their incarceration - which could be prevented with the right care. A team led by Michigan State University has found a cost-effective way to improve mental health in prisons. (2019-02-21)

How a one-hour 'planting party' lifts spirits, builds skills among women in prison
Exposure to nature, even through a brief gardening activity, can improve well-being among women in prison, a UW Tacoma-led study finds. (2019-01-30)

Rutgers researchers highlight need for more smoking cessation programs in state prisons
Inmates want to quit smoking but don't have access to smoking cessation programs in state prisons, increasing the risk - especially among black male inmates -- of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other smoking-related diseases, according to Rutgers researchers. (2019-01-28)

Comprehensive AIDS prevention programs in prisons: A review study
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health (Volume 6, Number 4, 2018; DOI: https://doi.org/10.15212/FMCH.2018.0118: , Somayeh Zare et al. discuss how studies show that suitable design of educational programs can affect prisoners' awareness of AIDS. (2019-01-04)

Prisoners who are sanctioned more are more likely to re-offend
A new longitudinal study that sought to determine the effect of these sanctions on recidivism found that prisoners who had greater exposure to formal sanctions were more likely to re-offend 1, 2, and 3 years after release; formal sanctions involve punishment for misconduct after a rules infraction board finds an inmate guilty. (2018-12-19)

ECDC issues integrated hepatitis and HIV testing Guidance
Targeted testing to reach those most at-risk of infection is an essential element of any strategy to eliminate viral hepatitis and HIV across the countries in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA). To mark European Testing Week from Nov. 23 to 30, 2018, ECDC publishes its new Guidance on integrated viral hepatitis and HIV testing which provides options and ideas based on the latest scientific evidence for national or local hepatitis B, C and HIV testing guidelines and programmes. (2018-11-23)

Targeted Hepatitis C testing misses substantial number of cases in correctional setting
Results from a new study led by Boston Medical Center (BMC) found routine Hepatitis C testing identified a significant number of cases that would have been missed by targeted testing among a population of individuals in Washington State prisons (2018-11-19)

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