“School to Prison” to “School Again”: Preparing a New Workforce to Address Health Disparities

Presenter: Robert Fullilove, EdDRobert Fullilove

Professor of Sociomedical Sciences

Associate Dean, Community and Minority Affairs

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Date: January 5th, 2016


Mass incarceration is one of the leading contributors of health disparities, with a disproportionately large percentage of African American and Latino men experiencing incarceration during their lifetime.  Having ever served time makes finding a job, securing housing, and utilizing health care services significantly more difficult, if not impossible.  While the United States prison system is meant to “rehabilitate” inmates, many who are released have no education, no job, and no home, and are forced to resort to criminal activities, leading to high recidivism rates.  This webinar raises the importance of educational programs for inmates as an effective tool for improving outcomes after release and reducing recidivism. Dr. Fullilove discusses his experience with the Bard Prison Initiative and his vision for a public health prison education system that would educate and recruit inmates as community public health workers striving to improve health and reduce disparities within their own neighborhoods after their release.


Recommended Pre-Webinar Reading:

Reflection Questions:

  • Pell grants are about to be available for students taking college courses in prison. What is needed to develop a public health concentration for any new program that focuses on the education and training of inmates?
  • In what way can current ‘pipeline’ programs to increase the participation of underrepresented minority students be adjusted to create a pipeline for students in prison?
  • How might evaluation studies assist in the creation of programs designed to alter the tragic school-to-prison pipeline that engages all too many students of color in the US?

Council on Linkages Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (2014 Version)

1A1, 1A11, 1B1, 1B11, 2A2, 2A5, 2A6, 2A7, 2B8, 3A3, 3A8, 3B3, 3B8, 4A3, 4A4, 4A5, 4A6, 4A7, 4B3, 4B4, 5A1, 5A2, 5A3, 5A4, 5A5, 5A7, 5B3, 6A9, 7A2, 7A6, 8A2, 8A3, 8A4, 8A6, 8B2, 8B3, 8B6

Click on the appropriate button to begin.

I do not work for a State or Local Health Department in NYS.

I do work for a State or a Local Health Department in NYS.

If you are employed by NYS or a local health department in NYS, we recommend that you register for this course through the NYS Department of Health Learning Management System (DOH LMS).