On October 13, 2022, Dr. Avon Hart-Johnson presented at the NASTAD conference. The session was well attended, with standing room only. The discussion focused on the intersectionality of incarceration, pregnancy while confined, and HIV/Hepatitis. The session was interactive, leading to a broader discussion about racialized incarceration. Other topics covered:
Criminalized substance use by pregnant people
Navigating health and criminal legal systems
Opioid crisis versus Crack Cocaine (War on Drugs)
According to Brookings, Black and White people use drugs in equal measure, apart from college, where white students use drugs 5% more.
The Commission on Reentry Services for Women Amendment Act of 2022 may help to provide rehabilitative services for women reentering society from prison (bill sponsored by Christina Henderson, Councilmember at large (DC).
Pregnant women need access to basics, such as vitamins, checkups, nutrition for the mother and the fetus, and access to OBGYN services.
The First Look Act bars shackling women during childbirth. However, there is an inconsistent application of this federal law.
Black neighborhoods tend to be over-policed and under-resourced. According to Dr. Hart-Johnson, "Black people are not more criminal--they are more criminalized."
Accountability includes all people from all sectors joining together to focus on the well-being of everyone --rather than otherizing individuals, making it easier to place blame on the circumstances of the disadvantaged.
For more information about this topic, see: NASTAD’s 2022 National HIV and Hepatitis Technical Assistance Meeting will be held on October 11-14, 2022 in Washington, D.C. | NASTAD