A Pound of Cure: Tracy Velazquez on Prisons and National Health Care Reform

By Bernice Yeung | Crowdfund this with Spot.Us
Part of the Prisons & Public Health news blog
In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Tracy Velazquez of the Justice Policy Institute said national health-care reform could keep people out of jail. “Every year, thousands of people are locked up in U.S. prisons and jails because they do not have access to health care to treat mental illness and drug addiction,” she wrote. “Prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities are now some of the largest providers of mental health services in the country.” In conversation with Newsdesk.org, Velazquez, whose Washington, D.C.-based think tank considers “tough on crime” policies to have largely failed, said the costs of incarceration greatly outweigh the price of preventive health care. Bernice Yeung: Tell us more about the connection between health care reform and criminal justice policy.

Military Prison Abuse

Research by Allison Bloch, Newsdesk.org Intern 
Get the latest on this story. Not too long ago, there was no escaping Abu Ghraib. The prisoner abuse scandal dominated the news, the photos looming suddenly from every TV screen, newspaper and magazine. Since then, the issue has retreated from media’s front burner, displaced by the parade of political conventions, the autumn presidential campaign, even the Scott Peterson trial and steroid-abusing sports stars. But the larger issue has remained simmering in the background.