2020 Recipients

An Ethical Examination of Sentencing Decisions and Treatment of Inmates with Dementia 
Dr. Jalayne Arias 

Jalayne J. Arias, JD, MA is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in the Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology. Her project implements empirical legal research methods and qualitative interviews with key stakeholders to examine the legal and ethical issues associated with criminal sentencing decisions for individuals with dementia.

Sexual Health in Aging 
Dr. Amanda Emerson

Amanda Emerson, PhD, RN, is a junior researcher and faculty member in the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has collaborated with mentors and colleagues at the University of Kansas Medical Center on sexual health and cervical cancer prevention intervention studies focusing on women who are incarcerated or recently released. Dr. Emerson is currently a co-investigator on a multi-site natural history study that seeks to learn how cohorts of women in three states navigate community services to manage their cervical health in diverse funding environments. Dr. Emerson’s exploratory research is a narrative inquiry study with women in that national sample that aims to build conceptual understanding of how older adult (age 50 and older) women with significant criminal justice involvement perceive their sexual health and sexual health care needs as they age

Health Among Older Adults with Incarcerated Family Members
Drs. Chantal Fahmy and Alexander Testa

The expansion of incarceration in the United States has touched the lives of many older adults. This study aims to understand how having a family member incarcerated impacts the health and well-being of older adults, as well as the mechanisms these individuals use to cope with the experience of familial incarceration.

End-of-Life-Care in Corrections 
Dr. Erin Kitt-Lewis

The purpose of “End-of-Life Care Planning in Corrections” is to determine the essential components to include in a toolkit for end-of-life care planning (EOLCP) for people who will spend their final days in prison, which will be achieved through 1) a literature review of EOL communication, advanced care planning, and advance directives to include definitions, decision aids, discussion guides, tools, and measurements that could be adapted to assist corrections staff with EOLCP; 2) analyzed focused group data from the perceptions of men and women who are incarcerated and will likely die in prison from a chronic condition about their knowledge of and attitudes toward EOLCP; and 3) analyzed interview data with front-line corrections personnel (i.e., Corrections Health Care Administrator, Deputy Superintendents), physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, unit managers of medical units, and chaplains) to review and prioritize essentials components to include in a toolkit. The toolkit will serve as a resource for patient-centered EOLCP within the restrictive environment of corrections. Dr. Susan Loeb, Associate Professor of the Penn State College of Nursing and member of the CVJT RIG, will serve as a mentor for the project.

The Health Disparity of the Incarcerated Older Adults in Arkansas
Dr. Obioma Nwaiwu

I plan to study the disparities in the burden of chronic medical illnesses of older adults in the criminal justice system in Arkansas. In addition, I will survey the current level of involvement of geriatricians and other specialties in the care of the criminal justice involved older adults, and then assess the readiness of the criminal justice system towards the implementation geriatric consult services through telemedicine in the management of chronic diseases in this population.

Correctional Health Services for Older Adults
Drs. Meghan Novisky and Stephanie Grace Prost

The current study seeks to enhance our understanding of the thoughts and feelings surrounding the perceived adequacy of correctional health services for older adults. Importantly, this study will explore older adults’ perspectives on receiving correctional health services in prison, and peer caregivers’ perspectives on implementing correctional health services for older adults incarcerated in prison.

The Relationship Between Visitation and Health in Older Adults Who Are Incarcerated 
Dr. Stephanie Grace Prost 

The current study seeks to explore the relationship between visitation and health (visitation-health relationship)—and the moderating influence of race—among older adults incarcerated in prison to enhance health and social outcomes in this population via evidence-informed correctional policy and praxis revision.

Beyond the Hospice: Understanding Why Elderly Prisoners Decline Residence in Hospice Facilities and the Capacity of Other Penal Institutions to Care for Them 
Dr. Christopher Seeds

Not all prisoners needing geriatric and palliative care end up in prison hospice facilities. Instead, some remain in other facilities that are less well equipped, and not so intentionally designed, to care for the physical and psychological needs of the elderly and chronically ill. This study surveys and interviews elderly prisoners to better understand the reasons why. Focusing on personal motivations as well as institutional conditions, the research explores how health strategies differ based on social capital and factors including race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, family contact, education, employment, and past health care access. More broadly, the study aims to better understand penal capacities to provide geriatric and palliative care, and to equip state corrections agencies with information that will aid in the design of health care infrastructure and practice.