In the Contexts feature “No Real Release” (Winter 2009), Jason Schnittker and Michael Massoglia explore the link between incarceration and health. Below are some questions you can use with the article. Also, check out some online content to accompany the article!
1) Describe the ways that incarceration is linked to poor health and inadequate health care. In contrast, how is incarceration beneficial to the health of some prisoners?
2) This article demonstrates how the stigma of incarceration can be “contagious” and affect how the children of ex-cons are seen and see themselves. What are some other stigmas that seem to rub off on friends and family?
3) As you learned in the article, discrimination against ex-cons is legally sanctioned. Should it be? Why or why not?
ACTIVITY: Imagine that you are a social worker in a community where many former inmates return after leaving prison. What policies might you advocate to address the health needs of your community in light of prisoner re-entry? What resources would you need? What community leaders or organization would you need to enlist for support?