O'Neill Institute  |  December 5, 2022

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Efforts at the local, state, and federal levels have begun a shift toward adopting more public health-oriented approaches in correctional settings, largely driven by an acknowledgement that addressing the health care and treatment needs of incarcerated people can positively impact both these individuals and the overall health of communities. However, government leaders and advocates at every level must undertake significant policy and practice changes to reduce deaths in jail custody and accelerate reform.

This brief outlines the legal framework on the right to adequate care and treatment for medical, mental health, and substance-related conditions in jails. The brief also highlights the findings of original research on litigation related to deaths in jail custody and provides recommendations for reform.

Read the Big Ideas here.

This brief was supported by funding from the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. The original research described in the brief was funded by the United States Department of Justice.

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