Online Program

Nursing within a Health in All Policies Approach to Criminal Justice System Reform

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Lorie S. Goshin, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Hunter College, New York, NY
Alison M. Colbert, PhD, PHCNS, BC, School of Nursing, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
Statement of the problem: Approximately 2.2 million adults and 57,000 juveniles are incarcerated on any given day in the US. Instead of making us safer and healthier, mass incarceration has created a public health crisis, with associated disparities at individual, family, and community levels. Criminal justice (CJ) reform efforts aimed at decreasing unsustainable costs are underway across the US, but that is only part of the solution. Nurses bring the clinical and health systems expertise needed to promote health considerations.

Approach: In this presentation we advance recommendations on the role of nursing in an overall Health in All Policies approach to CJ reform. These recommendations are offered in the context of policy, research and practice from both the CJ and public health perspectives.

Outcome: Nurses can champion CJ reform efforts as mechanisms to improve social justice and health equity. We can work with other stakeholders to determine the health impact of CJ policy changes and make recommendations to maximize positive health impacts. We can develop, empirically test, and deliver new evidence-based health promotion interventions tailored to the unique needs of CJ-involved persons and community CJ contexts. Effective nursing interventions may not only improve health but decrease recidivism, presenting a co-benefit between public health, policy, and CJ partners.

Implications: The current attention on CJ reform presents nursing with the opportunity to improve the health of one of the most underserved populations in the US.  Additionally, nursing engagement in that process is critical to ensuring a Health in All Policies approach.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current size of the criminal justice system and health disparities associated with it. Discuss criminal justice reform efforts underway across the United States. Discuss potential nursing roles within criminal justice system reform.

Keyword(s): Nurses/Nursing, Criminal Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD prepared nurse with extensive clinical and research experience with criminal justice involved persons. I have been PI or Co-I on multiple federal and foundation-funded studies on this topic. My work has been published in nursing, criminal justice, and legal journals, as well as cited in amicus curiae and national policy reports advocating for evidence-based responses to support incarcerated women and their children.
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.