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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Disappearing black men: The epidemic of incarcerated black men in America through the lens of human rights and capabilities

Candace J. Robertson, MPH, Women's Health Education Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2900 Queen Lane, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19129, 215-991-8450, croberts@drexelmed.edu and Mariana Chilton, PhD, MPH, Community Health and Prevention, Drexel University School of Public Health, 1505 Race St., Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Over 65% of incarcerated persons are racial/ethnic minorities. It is estimated that over 30% of Black men will be incarcerated at some point during their lifetime. Using a human rights framework and the capabilities approach we examine discriminatory policies and violations of rights that 1) contribute to the over population of Black men in prison, and 2) negatively affect the health and well being of Black men and their communities. The largest increase in the prison population in the last 2-3 decades is a result of policy changes, not increases in the number of violent criminals or crimes committed. The divestment in education in inner city neighborhoods and the “war on drugs” is a driving force behind increased disparate incarceration rates. These discriminatory policies “disappear” black men from their communities, and thus expose them to the high risk environment of prison, and increase the vulnerabilities of their families and communities. Inequalities of imprisonment rates widen the disparities in the health of black men and women, and are a crude example of a most severe form of capability deprivation in the United States. Moreover, health disparities related to imprisonment are a product of systemic and institutional discrimination and other violations of human rights perpetuated through disenfranchisement (denial of voting rights, right to participation), inferior education (violation of right to education) and increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS (violation of right to health). This presentation will create a dialogue for advocacy utilizing capabilities and human rights to inform, educate and advocate around this issue.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: African American, Incarceration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Protecting the Right to Health for African American Men

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA