Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jail Time Increases Odds For Hypertension

Now do a study on how many former prisoners have PTSD....
NY Times

Former prison inmates are more likely than those who have never been incarcerated to have high blood pressure as young adults and to develop a dangerous thickening of the heart’s left ventricle, a new study has found.

Experts have long known that inmates are at greater risk for infectious diseases such as H.I.V.hepatitis and tuberculosis, but less is known about whether they are more likely to develop such chronic conditions as hypertension. The new study suggests that they might be, and that traditionally suspect risk factors for heart disease — such as drug and alcohol useobesityand poverty — do not entirely explain the increased risk.

Although the association was strongest for black men and the less educated, who also have the highest incarceration rates, lead author Dr. Emily A. Wang of the Yale University School of Medicine said those factors did not explain the increased risk.

“It’s not that they’re black. It’s not that they’re poor. It’s not that they smoke or use cocaine or methamphetamine or drink a lot. We adjusted for all of that. . . .There’s something specific about having been incarcerated,” said Dr. Wang, formerly of San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco.

Some experts have suggested that increased hostility or stress hormones related to the prison experience may increase the risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis.


Anonymous said...

I wonder what the research says about the hypertension, stress, mental anguish, grief and loss of the victim population of the incarcerated?

Mother of a former inmate. said...

If you have ever had anyone in the prison system you would know that even though the time away is to be the punishment for the crimes commited, it is only part of what they have to endure since they become property of the state. They are not treated fairly by a good portion of the people who choose to be a guard or medical person. Yes, they have commited a crime but they should still be able to be treated as a human being.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard of the hideous diet served to these inmates day after day? It is extremely high in salt, refined carbohydrates and very low in fiber. There is virtually no fresh fruit or vegetables. They are eating EVERY day a prescription for hypertension just in diet alone. Then go ahead and add the stress. Is it not a possibility to have fresh gardens that inmates tend where a marvelous array of fresh food could be grown, even canned for the winter, (by inmates?). Could it be that we actually teach and learn lessons of life from the seed planted, watered, weeding, fertilizing, etc etc until the harvest-where a much appreciated final product is enjoyed? Has not the access to weights shown us that the inmates can enjoy and develop the habits of good health and discipline when given the opportunity. These are not just muscles they are building, but character strengths that can very definately be translated to the life on the streets. Why not use the time to grow and eat the "fruit of their labor" and learn all the wonderful life lessons also translateable to the streets?