The over-use of prison and jails in the US is well documented. Emerging research is demonstrating how racially disparate rates of incarceration drive population-level health inequities. This webinar looked at the health impacts of jails and prisons on individuals and communities from multiple perspectives.

This was the second online learning event in an ongoing webinar series: Highlights from the 2019 Sharing Knowledge to Build a Culture of Health Conference. The series seeks to showcase select sessions from the conference, held from March 6-8, 2019 near Houston, Texas. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in collaboration with AcademyHealth, convened a cross-sectoral community of researchers, practitioners, and thought leaders to discuss and share multidisciplinary evidence related to health and well-being. Now in its fourth year, the conference supports the Foundation’s vision to build a national Culture of Health, where everyone in our diverse society has a just and fair opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Hear multiple perspectives on the impact of incarceration on individual and community health
  • Reflect on the systemic and historical factors that have exacerbated these health impacts
  • Consider some of the steps that practitioners and policy makers can take to minimize and address harm 

With support from:

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Watch Recorded Webinar

Speaker List

Opening Remarks:

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Member, Presenter

Tracy Costigan, Ph.D.

Director, Learning - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Dr. Costigan is the Director of Learning at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read Bio


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Jim Parsons

Vice President and Research Director - Vera Institute of Justice

Jim Parsons is Vice President and Research Director at the Vera Institute of Justice. Read Bio


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Ghani Songster

Communicator Lead - Amistad Law Project

Ghani Songster is Communicator Lead at the Amistad Law Project. Read Bio

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Homer Venters, M.D.

Senior Health and Justice Fellow - Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS)

Homer Venters is a physician and epidemiologist and a nationally recognized leader in health and human rights. Read Bio

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Sara Wakefield, Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Rutgers University

Sara Wakefield is an associate professor of criminal justice at Rutgers University, Newark. Read Bio

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Regina Yang

Senior Director - MASS Design Group

Regina Yang is Senior Director at MASS Design Group. Read Bio