a close up of a hand holding a pen filling out a survey

By Christopher Zoukis Recently, Futurity.org, a website running research news from America’s top universities, featured an interesting article in it’s heath and medicine segment. Prison linked to obesity among black men, proclaimed the title. The article referenced a study that saw researchers pull data from the 2001-2003 National Survey of American Life. The survey included…

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  The Federal Bureau of Prisons should improve its analysis of skyrocketing health care costs for federal prisons, the Government Accountability Organization (GAO) says in a recently released report. The report indicated costs rose about 36% on a per-capita basis between 2009 to 2016. GAO urged BOP to identify the main causes, and to evaluate…

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Federal inmates arriving at Bureau of Prisons facilities from areas affected by the Zika virus are not routinely tested for the transmissible disease before joining the general prison population, notes a recent USA Today article that examined Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) documents included interviews with agency staff. The paper noted hundreds of federal prisoners…

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It reads like a headline from the 19th century: “Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners Could Soon End in New York.” But this headline appeared just two short weeks ago. It remains standard practice in many prisons across the country (in 28 states, to be exact ) for women to be handcuffed while pregnant, during labor, and post-partum. The…

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On July 19, 2013, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a grant of summary judgment to three defendants, holding there was sufficient evidence for a jury to find they acted with deliberate indifference to a prisoner’s serious dental needs. Richard M. Smego, a civil detainee at Illinois’ Rushville Treatment and Detention Center, filed suit…

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By Greg Dober

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a blood-borne virus that is typically spread through intravenous drug use (i.e., sharing needles), tattooing with non-sterile needles, and sharing razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers or other hygiene items that may be exposed to blood. It is often a chronic disease and, if left untreated, can lead to severe liver damage.

Recent good news in the battle against HCV, in the form of two new drugs that are highly effective in eliminating the virus, is tempered by the fact that the companies that produce the drugs have priced them at $60,000 to $80,000 per 12-week course of treatment. This high cost prices the medications beyond the reach of most prison and jail systems – which is especially troubling considering that a substantial number of prisoners are infected with HCV.

The new drugs, approved by the FDA in late 2013, are simeprevir, branded as Olysio and manufactured by Janssen Therapeutics (a Johnson & Johnson company), and sofosbuvir, branded as Sovaldi and manufactured by Gilead Sciences. Based on clinical trials, Sovaldi has an 84-96% cure rate while Olysio has an 80-85% cure rate. Both drugs are used in combination with other HCV anti-viral medications, peginterferon alfa and/or ribavirin, and their cure rates vary depending on HCV genotype – specific variations of the virus.

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Sangye Rinchen and Christopher Zoukis PETERSBURG, Va., Oct. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Social justice advocate, author, and inmate, Christopher Zoukis, recently met with Sangye Rinchen, a transgender federal prison inmate incarcerated for bank robbery at FCI Petersburg – a medium-security federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia. What he learned was frightening. Since 2012, Rinchen has tried…

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