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Book and Media Reviews
November 5, 2008

Public Health Behind Bars: From Prisons to Communities

JAMA. 2008;300(17):2067-2068. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.545

This collection of 30 chapters provides a comprehensive examination of the interface between incarceration and public health. The book is a useful reference text and a helpful introduction to a variety of topics related to health care in prisons, eg, prisoner rights, detection and treating communicable disease, screening as a tool for prevention, treating mental illness and substance abuse, and being responsive to the needs of particular populations (youth and women). As a collection of academic essays laden with data, referencing, and academic prose, the book will not have a direct impact on public policy, but scholars operating within the boundaries of policy will find the material useful. For those in public health, the book generates fresh thinking about the role of public health within prison walls and presents opportunities to learn more about disease prevention and treatment across the continuum of care between community- and prison-based systems.

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