240619 Injury surveillance in New York City jails 2010: Assessing burden and monitoring safety

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:50 AM

Homer D. Venters, MD , Correctional Health Services, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygeine, East Elmhurst, NY
Ariel Ludwig, MPH , Re-Entry Programs, Metro Wellness and Community Centers, Tampa, FL
Louise Cohen, MPH , Health Care Access and Improvement, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
Background: New York City has one of the largest jail systems in the United States with a daily inmate population of approximately 13,049, totaling 95,385 admissions annually. While injuries place a considerable burden on our health system, this was the first time an injury surveillance model was implemented for systematic collection and analysis. Purpose: This study utilized a surveillance model to evaluate the risk, prevalence and characteristics of injuries in New York City jails as well as the risk factors for intentional and severe injury. The ultimate objective was to reduce inmate morbidity and mortality and improve inmate health. Methods: Data were obtained from New York City Department of Corrections injury reporting forms (N=4,696) between January 1st and April 31st, 2010. Descriptive statistics addressing causes, types and severity of injuries were calculated. Analysis of specific variables associated with intentional and severe injuries were computed using SPSS v.17. Results: The findings established injuries as a major public health problem in New York City jails, accounting for over 40% of medical emergencies, with a prevalence rate of 939 per 1,000 person-years. Sex, age, mental health diagnoses, and twenty-three hour isolation housing significantly influenced the risk of sustaining intentional and severe injuries. Conclusion: Injuries place a considerable burden on jail healthcare, and unlike pre-existing chronic diseases, they can often be prevented. This research has the potential to inform jail health systems as well as future injury prevention programs.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Formulate implications and utility of injury surveillance in a correctional setting. Describe procedures for implementing injury surveillance in New York City Jails. Identify leading causes and types of injuries as well as risk factors for intentional and severe injuries in New York City Jails.

Keywords: Inmates, Injuries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: analysis of data
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.