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    Towards a health-informed approach to penal reform? Evidence from ten countries

    Heard, Catherine (2019) Towards a health-informed approach to penal reform? Evidence from ten countries. Technical Report. ICPR, Birkbeck, London, UK.

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    The world’s prison population has risen substantially in recent decades and now stands at well over 11 million. In much of the world, increases in prison populations have not been matched by additional resources. This has led to overcrowded and unhealthy environments, with reduced access to the basic minimum requirements for human health. Well over 60 per cent of countries have overcrowded prison systems today. Prisoners often arrive in prison with pre-existing mental and physical health problems, including untreated (perhaps undiagnosed) medical conditions. Poor material conditions and lack of healthcare cause these problems to worsen and can give rise to new health problems, among staff as well as prisoners. The report aims to provoke fresh consideration of the health risks associated with the over-use of imprisonment and to explain why addressing them should be regarded as a policy priority. It draws on data collected for ICPR’s international, comparative project, 'Understanding and reducing the use of imprisonment in ten countries', launched in 2017. The report does not seek to provide an exhaustive account of health-related vulnerabilities and interventions in the penal context. Rather, it highlights a number of key issues by drawing on recent academic research and policy reports from across the ten countries, and on sources produced by expert bodies. The report also contains illustrative material about the lived custodial experience as it relates to health, much of it taken from interviews with prisoners and former prisoners in some of the ten countries. The latest available statistics on prison populations and overcrowding are provided.


    Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): World prison populations, prison conditions in Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, the USA, India, Thailand, England & Wales, Hungary, the Netherlands and Australia, prison over-crowding, prisoners' mental and physical health, healthcare and treatment in prison, prisoners' health vulnerabilities, health inequality, fundamental right to health and healthcare, aging prisoners, women prisoners, reducing use of custody, community health interventions, diversion from custody, self-harm, suicide, drug and alcohol use, harm reduction
    School: School of Law > Criminology
    Research Centres and Institutes: Crime & Justice Policy Research, Institute for
    Depositing User: Catherine Heard
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2019 14:46
    Last Modified: 04 Jul 2022 12:36


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