Session: The International Human Rights Crisis in Prison
3103.0: Monday, November 17, 2003: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
The International Human Rights Crisis in Prison
Prisons worldwide stand in violation of international human rights treaties on civil and political rights and on torture. UN Conventions on Torture, Civil and Political Rights and Racism were implemented in the US in the 1990s. Few governments have acted to ensure implementation of the treaties that stand as the highest law of the land. For example, an interagency task force in Washington has been dismantled by the present US administration. These are some of the ways the UN Committee on Torture has criticized the US. Under most state laws punishment, not rehabilitation is the only purpose of incarceration. Children are serving sentences in adult prisons. Women are guarded by male custodial staff and subjected to sexual assault and demeaning routines of search and transport. Children and the mentally ill and mentally challenged are sentenced to execution. Long-term solitary confinement in control units is routine and a form of torture. Two and a half percent of prisoners nationwide are held in control units. Prisons have become a dumping ground for the underserved mentally ill. The mentally ill fill our prisons and jails and suffer excess punishment, including solitary confinement. Los Angeles County Jail has the largest mental institution in the US. Public health can play a role in protecting prisoners from human rights abuse, in building ties between communities and prisoners and providing a strong community voice for change.
Learning Objectives: By the end of the session participants will be able to 1. Discuss major human rights challenges facing incarcerated persons in the US and abroad. 2. Describe the plight of the incarcerated mentally ill 3. Discuss the role that public health can play in addressing human rights abuses of incarcerated persons.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
10:30 AMInternational collaborations
Alex Gatherer, MD, Lars Moller, MD, DMSc
10:50 AMConditions in jails and prisons
Maddy deLone, MPH, JD
11:10 AMMental illness, human rights and incarceration: National and international perspectives
Martin Gittelman, MD
11:30 AMSexual assault on women prisoners
Corey Weinstein, MD
Organized by:APHA-International Human Rights Committee
CE Credits:CME, Nursing, Pharmacy

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA