UMMS Affiliation

Commonwealth Medicine, Center for Health Policy and Research; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research


Background: There is limited research and research dissemination on the care of detained persons, often due to barriers to conducting research in correctional settings. Additionally, while concerns exist about the quality of care delivered to inmates, only a small number of academic health science centers provide health care services behind bars. To strengthen the field of academic criminal justice health (ACJH), the Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health (AHPCCH) was launched in 2007. Objective: To assess the merits of the conference as a stimulus to advance the field of ACJH.

Methods: Two hundred ninety-one individuals were identified who had presented at the AHPCCH and/or had received a conference attendance scholarship between 2011 and 2013. A web-based survey assessed: networking opportunities; motivation to disseminate or continue in this field; scholarly outputs; clinical practice changes; clinical guidelines development; curriculum/training opportunities; and a climate assessment at participant’s home institution in support of their work.

Results: With a 56 % response rate, the majority felt that the conference: provided encouragement and confidence to continue their work; validated their identity as a contributor in the field; and provided valuable feedback on their work. 86 % reported that the conference provided numerous networking opportunities. Most respondents reported that the conference provided new ideas for research and/or academic efforts and 62 % reported motivation to expand their scholarly work. Most also indicated that their choice to work in criminal justice health was respected at their home institution, with 64 % identifying collaborators with similar content interest/expertise and 66 % reporting opportunities to advance available as a result of their work. However, 70 % do not receive institutional funding during periods when their own extramural funding is low and 59 % were not part of an ACJH research core.

Conclusions: The majority of presenters and scholars felt that the conference fulfilled professional development opportunities needed in the field. Moreover, the conference generated new ideas for research and/or academic efforts. Thus, the AHPCCH is a valuable opportunity for researchers, policymakers and clinicians to network, share and improve upon their work, generate research ideas and, ultimately, validate criminal justice health as an academic field of study.


health care, inmates, correctional health, academic criminal justice health, conferences

Rights and Permissions

© Savageau et al. 2015. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI of Published Version



Savageau, J., Ferguson, W.J. and Sefton, L. Health Justice (2015) 3: 17. doi:10.1186/s40352-015-0029-z. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Health and Justice

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.