High Burden of Trauma and Avoidable Surgical Deaths in US Prisons

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tanya L. Zakrison, MHSc MD FRCSC FACS MPH Associate Professor of Surgery University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Dr. Zakrison

Tanya L. Zakrison, MHSc MD FRCSC FACS MPH
Associate Professor of Surgery
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Over 2 million people in the United States are incarcerated, the highest rate in the entire world.  To date no national statistics on surgical outcomes have been reported in this vulnerable patient population.  We examined 301 medical examiner’s reports from prisoner deaths in Miami-Dade County.  Excluding those with confounding medical conditions such as cirrhosis and cancer, we still found that one in five deaths were being attributed to trauma and reversible surgical diseases.   

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Prescription of Psychotropic Medications Reduced Violent Reoffending After Prison Release

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Zheng Chang PhD
Dept. of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Karolinska Institutet and
Seena Fazel MD
Department of Psychiatry Warneford Hospital
University of Oxford, Oxford, England

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There were more than 10 million prisoners worldwide in 2015, with approximately 2.2 million in the United States alone. Despite reported decreases in violence in many countries, reoffending rates remain high. From 2005 through 2010, more than one-third of released prisoners in the United States and the United Kingdom were reconvicted of a new crime within 2 years. Most programs to reduce reoffending focus on psychosocial interventions, but their effect sizes are weak to moderate. As psychiatric and substance use disorders, which increase reoffending rates, are overrepresented among jail and prison populations.

This study investigated the main psychotropic medication classes prescribed to prisoners using longitudinal Swedish population registers and examined the association between prescription of psychotropic medication and risk of violent reoffending. We found that three classes of psychotropic medications were associated with substantial reductions in violent reoffending: antipsychotics, a 42% reduction; psychostimulants, 38%; and drugs used in addictive disorders, a 52% reduction. The magnitudes of these associations were as strong as and possibly stronger than those for widely disseminated psychological programs in prison.

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