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On Life Support: Public Health in the Age of Mass Incarceration

This report is an excellent introduction to the relationship between incarceration and public health and its significance for society. It is essential reading for anyone working within the fields of corrections and public health. Sections cover: the burden of disease behind bars-mental health, substance use and addiction, infectious disease, chronic disease, violence and self-harm, greater health disparities for women, and geriatric health; conditions of confinement and health-overcrowding, solitary confinement, sexual victimization, and quality of care; the health of communities--family structure, education and employment opportunities, housing stability and social entitlements, health insurance, and political capital; a political landscape ripe for reform; and the potential of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)-bolstering community capacity, strengthening front-end alternatives to arrest, prosecution, and incarceration, bridging health and justice systems, enabling outreach and care coordination, enrolling across the criminal justice continuum, granting Medicaid waivers and innovation, advancing health information technology, and regional challenges with the ACA.