Incarceration Nation: Health and Welfare in the Prison System in the United States

Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP


January 20, 2006

In This Article


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of any country. A calm, dispassionate recognition of the rights of the accused and even of the convicted criminal, ... [and] the treatment of crime and the criminal mark and measure the stored-up strength of a nation, and are the sign and proof of the living virtue within it." - Winston Churchill [1]


This article discusses various aspects of the United States' criminal justice system, with particular attention to women when applicable. Topics include the epidemiology of incarceration, juvenile detention, racism, the so-called "War on Drugs," the prison-industrial complex, healthcare of prisoners, rehabilitation, and the death penalty. Suggestions for improving the criminal justice system are offered.


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