Mass incarceration in the United States has given rise to a system where human dignity is too often denied. Conditions of confinement, unjust sentencing laws, and incarceration of the mentally ill, elderly, and dying all contribute to this complex public health problem which disproportionately impacts poor and minority communities. The U.S. criminal justice system must consider how to restructure our process of punishment in order to preserve the health and human dignity of incarcerated persons and facilitate their successful reentry back into our communities.
Join us for a presentation from Michele DiTomas, a physician who has dedicated her career to improving medical care for incarcerated persons. She will discuss her path to correctional medicine and the health and human rights hurdles that must be overcome in order to achieve true reform. After the presentation Dr. DiTomas will have a discussion with Eric Stover, faculty director of UC Berkeleys Human Rights Center.
This talk is part of the 75th Anniversary UC Berkeley School of Public Health Deans Speaker Series. It is co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center.
Michele DiTomas MD, MS has served as the Chief Physician and Surgeon and Hospice Medical Director at California Medical Facility in the California Department of Corrections since 2007. She earned her MD/MS from the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program and is board-certified in Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She began her career in correctional medicine as a consultant to the California Department of Corrections. After a year of consultation she joined the Department in order to continue working toward improved medical care from the inside. She has spent over 10 years working for prison reform from the inside by advocating for positive changes from both custody and medical staff as well as through collaboration with outside organizations.
Eric Stover is faculty director of the Human Rights Center and adjunct professor of law and public health at UC Berkeley. He has built the Human Rights Center into a premier interdisciplinary research and policy center that is highly regarded nationally and internationally. He is a pioneer in utilizing empirical research methods to address emerging issues in human rights and international humanitarian law.
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