Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health: Ethics in Criminal Justice Health

Date of Review: April, 2019

This resource, ‘Ethics in Criminal Justice Health’, is a 55 minute online video lecture that discusses basic principles of ethics; medical ethics; and tension and challenges that arise when practicing in the correctional environment. The introduction defining ethics and distinguishing it from legality and morality as well as competency vs capacity are described in detail and the lecturer provides contextual examples to provide an understanding of application of these principles and specific tensions faced in the correctional setting. Specific examples include hunger strikes; maintaining confidentiality; executions; medical devices that interfere with custody; custody devices that interfere with health or wellbeing; and consequences of dual loyalty. Principles and approaches to navigating these ethical tensions are provided as well as some community pressures that make providing ethical and fair justice involved care a particular challenge. This lecture is quite detailed particularly the discussion on first principles and frameworks to navigate tensions. It would be nice to have access to the PowerPoint slides to give or modify the lecture oneself. Likely this could be used as supplementary material in a ‘flipped classroom’ format but the facilitator would have to create learning guides and objectives. This module is part of an online student curriculum aimed at teaching medical students about criminal justice and guidelines on caring for justice-involved patients. Specific screening, management, treatment and advocacy approaches are described in the seven 30-40 minute correctional health curriculum’s video lectures, which is part of an offering from the ACCJH. The ACCJH built this curriculum with partners from the University of Massachusetts, Harvard and Cornell with the goal of education and inspiring students to become advocates. — Ashti Doobay-Persaud, MD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:


Correctional healthcare physician

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:


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