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Outbreak behind Bars

Spider Bites, Human Rights, and the Unseen Danger to Public Health

Homer Venters

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How the failure to protect incarcerated people from infections has led to preventable outbreaks—and how public health professionals can make a difference.

In late 2019, Dennis Oya's persistent cough was just the beginning of a harrowing tale of neglect and systemic failure in a Washington prison. Diagnosed 18 months later with tuberculosis (TB), Oya's case sparked one of the largest prison TB outbreaks in decades, affecting over 3,000 contacts. This outbreak, and others like it, exposes the glaring weaknesses in prison healthcare systems.

In Outbreak behind Bars, Homer Venters reveals the grim...

How the failure to protect incarcerated people from infections has led to preventable outbreaks—and how public health professionals can make a difference.

In late 2019, Dennis Oya's persistent cough was just the beginning of a harrowing tale of neglect and systemic failure in a Washington prison. Diagnosed 18 months later with tuberculosis (TB), Oya's case sparked one of the largest prison TB outbreaks in decades, affecting over 3,000 contacts. This outbreak, and others like it, exposes the glaring weaknesses in prison healthcare systems.

In Outbreak behind Bars, Homer Venters reveals the grim realities of how communicable diseases thrive in the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions of correctional facilities. From TB to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), these infections spread rapidly due to systemic neglect and inadequate medical responses. The book highlights the stories of those who suffered, the failures in health care provision, and offers specific guidance for public health professionals in conducting investigations and facility inspections during outbreaks behind bars.

With firsthand accounts and expert analysis, this book illustrates the urgent need for reform in prison health care to protect incarcerated people and the wider community. Outbreak behind Bars is a crucial read for anyone concerned about justice, public health, and the overlooked plight of incarcerated people, especially students, faculty and professionals in the field of public health.

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Book Details

Release Date
Publication Date
Status
Preorder
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
224
ISBN
9781421451435
Author Bio
Homer Venters
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Homer Venters

Homer Venters is the former Chief Medical Officer of the New York City jail system. He currently works as a Federal Monitor of health services in several jail and prison settings and is an adjunct faculty member at New York University's College of Global Public Health. He is the author of Life and Death in Riker's Island.