Mass Incarceration Essay

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The emergence of public health challenges in the next decade will not be something new and it will not easily fixed. The institutions that are currently in place and have historically contributed to issues of health inequities and will continue to do so unless they are deconstructed and rebuilt with equity in mind. The three most important public health challenges will be the rate of uninsured people and the mistrust that this causes, the medical industrial complex and the effects of trying to deconstruct mass incarceration. The Affordable Care Act raised the rate of insured people in America across gender, age and ethnic lines (Who Gained Health Insurance). The statistics on this topic are staggering, almost every group of Americans gained coverage under the ACA, however with recent plans to repeal the ACA by the new Trump administration it seems that millions of Americans will lose coverage. Health…show more content…
The rate of incarcerated Americans has been increasing and with that the gap of health inequalities has also been increasing. Inmates are disproportionately exposed to illnesses and minorities are disproportionately represented in the inmate population. When discussing mass incarceration and it’s consequences Cloud says, “... these consequences have widened the gap in health outcomes along racial and socioeconomic gradients..”(4). It is clear that mass incarceration is an important health challenge but more important is the approach that the United States takes to solving this. In Sick From Freedom, Downs explains how the United States was not prepared for the emancipation of slaves and in that same respect the United States needs to be cautious in the way it attempts to handle mass incarceration. For example, if there is a mass exodus of non-violent criminals from state prisons these people would be thrusted back into society without being prepared for life on the
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