Project Funding: Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
Project Period: 2019
This Peter Wall International Research Roundtable (PWIRR) engaged in interdisciplinary collaboration using community-based participatory health research (PHR) approaches to address systemic challenges experienced by individuals with incarceration experience from the ‘ground up’. It sought unique advances in knowledge to improve the health of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. The main objective of the PWIRR was to explore how participatory approaches address the systemic challenges that impact the lives of individuals with incarceration experience in Pan American countries (PAC).
The health of individuals with incarceration experience is impacted by systemic challenges: Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals suffer vast health inequities compared with the general population, and Indigenous peoples and other racialized people are over-represented at all levels of the criminal justice system, regardless of country of origin. These systemic challenges relate to the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality and are rooted in criminalization and institutional policies that arise from colonial structures. This is of particular significance in the PAC where incarceration affects large and growing numbers of people. The United States currently ranks as the world’s largest prison population and Brazil ranks as the world’s third largest prison population, the largest in South America.