This research report bears powerful witness to the harsh impact on women and their children of the short custodial sentences too often meted out in the name of justice. It draws attention to the ripple effects of imprisoning mothers, and the turbulence it causes in the lives of their families. 

9th August 2017 • comment

This paper considers how maternal emotions and the maternal role are assembled and challenged through carceral space, and more specifically, how mothers themselves assimilate this experience whilst navigating motherhood post incarceration.

9th August 2017 • comment

Almost from the beginning of the HIV epidemic in 1981, an association with tuberculosis (TB) was recognized. This association between HIV and TB co-infection has been particularly evident amongst prisoners. However, despite this, few studies of TB in prisons have stratified results by HIV status. Given the high prevalence of HIV-positive persons and TB-infected persons in prisons and the documented risk of TB in those infected with HIV, it is of interest to determine how co-infection varies amongst prison populations worldwide. For this reason we have undertaken a systematic review of studies of co-infected prisoners to determine the incidence and/or prevalence of HIV/TB co-infection in prisons, as well as outcomes in this group, measured as treatment success or death.

24th March 2017 • comment

The prison setting presents not only challenges, but also opportunities, for the prevention and treatment of HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis. We did a comprehensive literature search of data published between 2005 and 2015 to understand the global epidemiology of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and tuberculosis in prisoners. We further modelled the contribution of imprisonment and the potential impact of prevention interventions on HIV transmission in this population. Of the estimated 10·2 million people incarcerated worldwide on any given day in 2014, we estimated that 3·8% have HIV (389 000 living with HIV), 15·1% have HCV (1 546 500), 4·8% have chronic HBV (491 500), and 2·8% have active tuberculosis (286 000). The few studies on incidence suggest that intraprison transmission is generally low, except for large-sc

10th September 2016 • comment

The prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and tuberculosis are higher in prisons than in the general population in most countries worldwide. Prisons have emerged as a risk environment for these infections to be further concentrated, amplified, and then transmitted to the community after prisoners are released. In the absence of alternatives to incarceration, prisons and detention facilities could be leveraged to promote primary and secondary prevention strategies for these infections to improve prisoners health and reduce risk throughout 

10th September 2016 • comment

Worldwide, more than 10 million individuals are in prison at any given time, and more than 30 million individuals circulate through prison each year. Research has consistently shown that prisoners have high rates of psychiatric disorders, and in some countries more people with severe mental illness are in prisons than in psychiatric hospitals. Despite the high level of need, these disorders are frequently underdiagnosed and poorly treated. In this structured review, we provide an overview of the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders in prison, summarise information on rates of suicide and violence victimisation and risk factors for these outcomes, and outline evidence-based interventions for mental health care. Based on this review, we propose a series of clinical, research, and policy recommendations. The aim is to provide a broad synthesis of the main issues related to the mental health of adult prisoners, and highlight gaps in evidence and practice. Two special populations are briefly discussed, namely women and older adults. Juveniles in prison have distinct mental health needs, and an overview of these is outside the scope of this Review.

14th July 2016 • comment

As bipolar disorder is a mental disorder particularly associated with elevated risk of suicide compared to the general population, with reviews suggesting standardized mortality ratios of above 20 and a large population-based study reporting a mortality ratio of 15, one might expect that the combination of imprisonment and the presence of bipolar disorder might be additive or even multiplicative in terms of suicide risk. The previous systematic review did not specifically examine the association between bipolar disorder and prison suicide and thus it remains uncertain if bipolar disorder is a particular risk factor for suicide and suicidal behavior in prisoners.

26th February 2013 • comment

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are increasingly viewed as a global health crisis, demonstrated by an escalating prevalence of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory disease. The four key modifiable risk factors identified for NCDs are smoking, alcohol, inadequate physical activity, and unhealthy diet. In 2008, 36 million of 57 million deaths worldwide were attributable to NCDs. Of these, 14 million were attributable to unhealthy diet, 3 million to insufficient physical activity, and 3 million to obesity

20th April 2012 • comment

Tobacco-smoking prevalence has been decreasing in many high-income countries, but not in prison. We provide a summary of recent data on smoking in prison (United States, Australia, and Europe), and discuss examples of implemented policies for responding to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), their health, humanitarian, and ethical aspects. We gathered data through a systematic literature review, and added the authors’ ongoing experience in the implementation of smoking policies outside and inside prisons in Australia and Europe. Detainees’ smoking prevalence varies between 64 per cent and 91.8 per cent, and can be more than three times as high as in the general population. 

16th December 2010 • comment
19th November 2010 • comment

Suicide rates in prisoners are considerably higher than in the general population, both in the United States and the United Kingdom and internationally. In the United States, the rate of suicide in jails is estimated to be 8 times higher than in the general population, and in England and Wales, the age-standardized rate of suicide among all male prisoners is 5 times higher than in the general population - a proportionate excess that has been increasing since 1978. In addition, these rates remain high after leaving prison - a recent study of all inmates released in 1 U.S state found an increased suicide risk 3- to 4- fold higher than in the general population after adjustment for age, sex, and race.

1st November 2008 • comment