ATLANTA, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Community Voices: Healthcare for the Underserved and the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine recently released, Where Are the Men? The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on African-American Men and Their Children and Families. By the end of June 2005, over 2.1 million people were incarcerated in jails and prisons in the United States. Of those 548,300 were African- American males between the ages 20 to 39. The incarceration rates for all African-American males were five to seven times greater than those for white males. This mass incarceration has had a tremendous impact on the African- American community. The findings of Where are the Men? illustrate not only what attributed to this high incarceration rate amongst African-American men but also the affects that the absence of incarcerated African-American men have on their communities, families, politics and healthcare even upon reentry. Findings from Where Are the Men? also point out that with the increased incarceration of drug offenders also came prison overcrowding and inmates with chronic and infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis- overwhelming the prison health care system. Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress, depression and dysthymia also plagued inmates. Once released, individuals will return to their overburdened and underserved communities, children, and families in poor health and with limited or no access to healthcare resources ultimately exacerbating the impact of health disparities already evident in the community. Community Voices: Healthcare for the Undersevered is working to make health care available to all. With eight sites across the country and managed by the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine, Community Voices is helping to ensure the survival of safety-net providers and strengthen community support services. "We are at a point in the nation where we need to think about things differently," said Dr. Henrie Treadwell, director of Community voices and Associate Director of Development for the National Center for Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine. "Lack of resources to address behavioral and other health issues are part of the community context that gives rise to petty crime, addiction and violence."
SOURCE Morehouse School of Medicine