News & Announcements

Dr. Meghan Novisky Co-Authors Article on Death and Dying in Prison 

Dr. Meghan Novisky, Associate Professor of Criminology in CSU’s Levin College of Public Affairs and Education (Levin), has co-authored an article published this month in a special issue of Journal of Criminal Justice (Impact Factor=5.0), entitled ‘Advancing Health Criminology: The Nexus between Crime, Criminal Justice, and Health’. The special issue features a collection of 15 research articles that address a variety of health considerations pertinent to understanding crime and the collateral consequences associated with criminal justice system contact, including mental and physical health concerns, access to perinatal health programs, food insecurity, trauma, sleep disturbances, and violence. 

Results of Novisky’s study detail experiences with death and dying among a sample of 193 older adults incarcerated in three U.S. prisons and resulted from an interdisciplinary partnership with Drs. Chelsey Narvey (Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University) and Stephanie Grace Prost (Social Work, University of Louisville). Sampled participants, who were interviewed during periods of imprisonment over 13 months, provided accounts of other incarcerated persons’ dying and deaths that they had witnessed, as well as personal accounts about their own fears of dying and death. Results found that perceptions of death and dying were linked to fears for participants in three areas: dying while imprisoned, dying due to distrust of the prison health care system, and what happens to their personal effects and bodies after death in prison. Several policy reforms are explored in the article, including prison downsizing, greater use of compassionate release mechanisms, and enhanced conditions of confinement.  

The research helps to increase what is known about prison experiences among older adults, an under-researched yet rapidly growing segment of the U.S. prison population. As reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, adults 50+ years of age presently make up 22% of the combined state federal and prison population (~261k people). 

Read the article here.