A HEALTHIER JUSTICE SYSTEM
CREATES A HEALTHIER COMMUNITY.
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Across the United States, tens of millions of Americans are in debt to their local and state criminal justice systems due to costs associated with criminal convictions. While there is no mechanism for collecting national data on criminal justice debt, state level data indicates that billions of dollars are owed to courts and corrections agencies nationwide. A significant portion of this debt will ultimately go unpaid despite the staggering negative impacts nonpayment has on people’s lives, implying that nonpayment is generally the result of inability to pay. But while there is a growing critical discussion about the legal and economic impacts of criminal justice debt, less attention has been paid to the devastating health impacts of these legal financial obligations.
People incarcerated in jails and prisons suffer higher rates of chronic medical conditions and behavioral health issues than the general population. They are disproportionately non-white and largely come from communities where residents already report overall poor health and lack of access to care. The disparities we see in our health care system are mirrored in our criminal justice system. The Center for Health and Justice Transformation works on the following issues in Rhode Island: Decriminalization, Criminal Justice Planning and Reentry.
Since 2005 we've been at the center of
innovative correctional health research
The Center for Health and Justice Transformation collaborates with researchers, medical professionals, academics, practitioners, community-based organizations and others on multi-disciplinary projects. Please click on the icons below to find information on cutting edge projects from our partners.
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Involvement in the criminal justice system is one of the most fundamental upstream determinants of health. Fortunately, a model for helping patients navigate legal issues that negatively affect their health does exist in medicine: the medical-legal partnership.
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1125 N. Main Street Providence, RI 02904
The Center for Health + Justice Transformation is a partnership between the Miriam Hospital and The Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Established in 2005, CHJT is a non-partisan research, advocacy, education, and policy organization.