Fall 2023 Health Policy and Management P8214 section 001

Law & Policy: Mass Incarceration in the


Call Number 16148
Day & Time
R 5:30pm-8:20pm
To be announced
Points 1.5
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Hernandez Stroud
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description From 1970 until today, America’s prison and jail population has increased sevenfold, from some 300,000 to around 2.2 million adults and children behind bars. Accounting for less than 5 percent of the world’s inhabitants, but about 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated inhabitants, the United States is the most incarcerating society in human history. The U.S. federal and state governments imprison more people and at higher rates than do any other governments on the planet, and they do so today more than they did at any other period in American history.

This astounding amount of human confinement (commonly called “mass incarceration”) disproportionately impacts the polity’s poorest communities of color—especially young Black males—which suffer from chronic conditions and infectious disease; face higher mortality rates; and experience, because of criminal records, less opportunity to secure gainful employment, stable housing, access to safety net programs, and education. Female incarceration over the past few decades has grown at twice the rate of male incarceration, and black women, specifically, are twice as likely as white women to serve time. Imprisonment exposes people to a wide range of circumstances proving detrimental to long-term physical and mental health, like inadequate sanitation, poor ventilation, and solitary confinement. And most formerly incarcerated people return to their communities with deep wounds and new traumas resulting from incarcerated life and from isolation through long separations from families and social supports.

This course sits at the intersection of public health, policy, and law. The course will explore the full spectrum of causes and costs of mass incarceration as a public health crisis. This course will examine how exposures to different structures of the American criminal punishment apparatus (e.g., law enforcement, jail, prison, or detention centers, community supervision) shape the health of people, families, and society. Observing mass incarceration as an epidemic, this course will adopt a useful public-health model of prevention to contemplate a concerted approach consisting of primary, secondary, and tertiary strategies for unwinding mass human imprisonment while advancing enhanced public health for the nation’s most disempowered members. This course will pay special attention to acutely at-risk populations, including detained youth and youth of incarcerated adults, pregnant incarcerated people, and the elderly. And the role that
Web Site Vergil
Department Health Policy & Management
Enrollment 37 students (50 max) as of 11:46PM Thursday, July 18, 2024
Subject Health Policy and Management
Number P8214
Section 001
Division School of Public Health
Open To GSAS, Public Health
Section key 20233HPMN8214P001