Advancing the science and practice of health care for justice-involved individuals

June 28, 2018
Dyana Nickl
Dyana Nickl, JD
Executive Director, Health and Criminal Justice Program
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Nursing, UMass Medical School

Our nation’s correctional population is about 6.6 million including those individuals supervised by probation and/or parole agencies, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Over two million of those are incarcerated and in the custody of a state or federal prison or local jail. It has been reported time and time again that inmates have greater health needs than those living in the community, including higher rates of Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, mental health issues and substance use disorder.

Despite that staggering reality, justice-involved individuals don’t always receive the same care that is available to those in the community. Health care access and treatment is often varied, largely dependent upon the polices of each state’s department of corrections. For example, many states differ on treatment modalities available to inmates addicted to opioids. 

There is still much we can improve upon in the way we deliver care to individuals in prisons and jails across the United States. One way is to highlight advances in correctional health so that successful models can reach more members of this high-need population. UMass Medical School has been instrumental in this effort since 2007, when it launched the annual Academic & Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health

The peer-reviewed conference is hosted by UMass Medical School and the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health (ACCJH). A forum for researchers, clinicians, administrators, educators, policy makers, and grant funding leaders, the conference draws participants from more than 100 academic and correctional institutions across the globe.

The 12th Academic & Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health will be held March 21-22, 2019 at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. We will be accepting abstracts for posters and presentations until 9 p.m. Sept. 4. More information on the types of abstracts we’re seeking and how to submit are available on the conference website