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Worth Reading  

Author:  Margaret R.  Moreland, J.D., M.S.L.S..

Source: Volume 16, Number 03, March/April 2015 , pp.37-40(4)

Correctional Health Care Report

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The American Law Institute has revised the sentencing articles of the Model Penal Code to include important reforms that would allow a judge to reduce a prison sentence for a “compelling” reason including advanced age and physical infirmity. In “Smoke and Mirrors: Model Penal Code § 305.7 and Compassionate Release” by E. Lea Johnston (4 Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy 49), the author, a law professor at the University of Florida, argues that, while well intentioned, the revisions to § 305.7 do not, as currently written, provide a sufficiently rigorous rationale for the kind of compassionate release policies needed for prisoners who are elderly, disabled, or suffering from a terminal illness. Johnston proposes strategies that legal advocates can successfully undertake to expand the application of compassionate release policies by showing how such expansion can achieve the state’s interests in punishing crime while contributing to a more humane and just system. This issue’s Worth Reading column also looks at successful applications of the NIATx quality improvement regime in HIV treatment, in “Efficacy of a Process Improvement Intervention on Delivery of HIV Services to Offenders: A Multisite Trial” by Frank S. Pearson et al., in 104 American Journal of Public Health 2385; and a study of inmates’ own perception of their health status and needs, in “Self-Perceived Health Improvements among Prison Inmates” By Sung-suk Violet Yu, Hung-En Sung, Jeff Mellow, and Carl J. Koenigsmann, published in 21 Journal of Correctional Health Care 59.

Keywords: sentence modification; HIV/AIDS prevention, including education, testing, treatment, and service penetration; recently released inmates experience a steep decline in their health status

Affiliations:  1: Pace University School of Law Library.

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