Policing, prisons, prison-like institutions, and the whole prison industrial complex are bad for public health — for the health of communities who experience constant, racialized, police surveillance and the 7 million people under correctional control in the United States and their families.
Many public health practitioners recognize that the US criminal legal system is not an institution engaged in primary prevention of public health problems or addressing root causes, and it is imperative to further contextualize this system as one that is, itself, a root cause of public health problems. Selected resources in this section demonstrate the negative health impact of the prison industrial complex, and how it interferes with public health.
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Last updated May 2021