Consortium for Gender Responsive Prisoner Healthcare

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team photo: Consortium for Gender Responsive Prisoner Healthcare
team photo: Consortium for Gender Responsive Prisoner Healthcare

Director: Emily Sluiter
Associate Director: Jacqueline Williams

The intersections of gender and incarceration manifest in several complicated- and frequently dangerous- ways. The Consortium for Gender-Responsive Prisoner Healthcare aims to gather the often-siloed efforts of academics, formerly incarcerated people, healthcare professionals, prisoner advocates, victims and their families, Department of Corrections officials, and public health directors to provide gender-responsive, trauma-informed care for people incarcerated. This includes providing comprehensive, evidence-based care for women, birthing people, individuals suffering from gender dysphoria, domestic violence survivors, and others experiencing ongoing trauma inside prison as result of their gender or gender identity.

The development of this new consortium is currently underway—and firmly rooted in the belief that trauma and gender violence perpetuate and reinforce incarceration. By reducing institutional violence and creating supportive networks of care, we aim to develop a humane, gender-informed model of criminal justice to solve urgent and dangerous gaps of the current healthcare and carceral system. We strive to create a sustainable model of restorative justice with alternatives to incarceration at the center of its core.

The tangible goals of this initiative are: discussion panels and informed conversations between experts in each field, development of standards of care, best practices, and gender-responsive training curriculums for healthcare providers in and out of prison, new opportunities for short and long-term outcomes research, financial support for trauma-informed initiatives (such as the Michigan Prison Doula Initiative), the publication of a manual to outline an evidence based-approach to gender-responsive prisoner healthcare, and, more broadly, increased visibility of the status of care for currently incarcerated people.

It is the overarching mission of this consortium to improve the lives of individuals and families who have experienced incarceration, and create stronger communities which offer trauma-responsive care, training, and support. Through these collaborative efforts, we aim to address both immediate and systematic issues that manifest throughout the current carceral state.