PRISON AND HEALTH VISTA

Bridget Duffy

As someone who wants to delve further into the medical field, I believe it is critical for the healthcare system to have more providers who understand the complexities and barriers that our system of incarceration imposes on health, and how to effectively advocate for the health of people who have justice involvement.

What began with a passion for improving the healthcare experience for people struggling with substance use and mental health quite naturally brought me to this intersection of health and criminal justice.

A jolt of clarity and urgency came upon me when I realized the lens, I had been using to unknowingly experience this intersection my whole life, that of which came from a family member who struggled with addiction/mental health/the criminal justice system was much more common of an experience than I had ever imagined.

I began to ask, why do so many people with a substance use/mental health disorder diagnosis also commonly are involved with the justice system and vice versa, and what does that mean about who our system is choosing to put behind bars?”

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