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Prisons, Public Health, and Human Rights

East Baltimore
4th term
2 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Monday,  5:30 - 7:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
  • Gabriel Baron Eber
Gabriel Eber

Explores the public health implications of mass incarceration and discusses the human rights and ethical ramifications of providing health care to men, women, and children in jails, prisons, and detention centers both in the United States and internationally. Takes a systems approach to addressing the basic health needs of the prison population, including infection control, care for acute and chronic medical conditions, and mental health care. Students apply problem-solving skills and explore the challenges of providing care in incarcerated settings. Emphasizes the roles of human rights principles and professional ethics in public health.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the intersection of prisons, public health practice and policy, and human rights principles
  2. Describe the key elements of prison health care systems and the challenges of providing care in the correctional setting
  3. Recognize the ethical conflicts faced by health care professionals who treat incarcerated patients.
  4. Describe the role of public health ethics in the correctional context, including the tension between patient autonomy and the coercion inherent in incarceration
  5. Identify the special health needs of women, the elderly, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) prisoners
  6. Apply public health principles to improve specific processes, including intake screening and reentry into the community
  7. Assess the epidemiology of infectious diseases and mental illness in correctional populations
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 85% Written Assignment(s)
  • 15% Participation

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Jointly Offered With:
Special Comments:

Formerly known as 221.618; students who have taken 221.618 should not repeat the course.