New NCMJ Issue: Health of Justice-Involved People in North Carolina

Blog | November 6, 2019

image of prison cell and hallway on cover of NCMJ

Whether in prisons, jails, juvenile justice, or in the community, people involved in North Carolina’s justice system have unique needs and face unique barriers to care. Jails and prisons have become the “de facto safety net of last resort,” and the needs of those incarcerated continue to become more complex.


The latest issue of the North Carolina Medical Journal examines the challenges and opportunities in providing healthcare to our state’s justice-involved population. It includes an original article focused on the prevalence of health conditions among adults released from prison in North Carolina and commentaries on hospital-based medical care for incarcerated people, hepatitis C in the prison population, behavioral health services for justice-involved people, and more.


“Incarceration not only concentrates together people of poor health, but through a variety of mechanisms—most of which are harmful—it influences the health of the individuals behind bars, with consequences for the health of the families and communities to which they return,” write guest editors David L. Rosen, PhD, MD and Evan A. Ashkin, MD of the UNC School of Medicine and Elizabeth J. Gifford, PhD of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.


Click here for the full issue and below to read individual articles.


A Population Begging for a Population Health Approach by Editor-in-Chief Peter Morris



Issue Brief

Overwhelming Need, Insufficient Health Care for Justice-Involved North Carolinians by David L. Rosen, Elizabeth J. Gifford, and Evan A. Ashkin



Invited Commentaries & Sidebars

Challenges Within North Carolina Correctional Medicine by Anita Wilson


Barriers to Access and Inadequate Levels of Care in North Carolina Jails by Susan Pollitt and Luke Woollard


Delivering Hospital-Based Medical Care to Incarcerated Patients in North Carolina State Prisons: A Call for Communication and Collaboration by Sara Scarlet and Elizabeth B. Dreesen


Hepatitis C. Behind and Beyond Bars: Targeting the US Prison Population and Changing North Carolina Prisoner Health Policy by Selin Ocal, Andrew J. Muir, and Susanna Naggie


Behavioral Health Services in North Carolina’s State Prison System: Challenges and Opportunities by Brian Sheitman and Joseph B. Williams


Jails and Prisons: Caring for Those With Complex Needs by Gary S. Cuddeback


Solitary Confinement and Health by Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein and Terence Johnson


Resolving Health Disparities for Women Involved in the Criminal Justice System by Andrea K. Knittel


Mental Health and Substance Use in the Juvenile Justice Population of North Carolina by Peter Kuhns


Durham County Criminal Justice Resource Center Provides Compassionate and Innovative Care for Justice-Involved Community Members by Gudrun Parmer and Alex Lombardi Merritt


How Incarceration Affects the Health of Communities and Families by Elizabeth J. Gifford



Spotlight on the Safety Net:

Connecting People Released from Incarceration to Essential Health Services: The North Carolina Formerly Incarcerated Transition (FIT) Program by Erin E. Clark and Evan Ashkin



Original Articles

Kinship Care and Foster Care: A Comparison of Out-of-Home Placement From the Perspective of Child Abuse Experts in North Carolina by Sabrina Darwiche, Lindsay Terrell, Asheley C. Skinner, and Aditee P. Narayan


Prevalence of Chronic Health Conditions Among Adults Released From the North Carolina Prison System, 2015-2016 by David L. Rosen, Shavonda Thomas, Andrew L. Kavee, and Evan A. Ashkin