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According to the latest and most reliable reports, in 2021 the number of people in prison exceeded 11.5 million. Epidemiological studies and the clinical and social experiences of many realities confirm that often people in prison belong to the most vulnerable groups of the population, and are at greater risk ...

According to the latest and most reliable reports, in 2021 the number of people in prison exceeded 11.5 million. Epidemiological studies and the clinical and social experiences of many realities confirm that often people in prison belong to the most vulnerable groups of the population, and are at greater risk of having a poor health status and developing preventable or easily treatable diseases. This was also confirmed by the trend of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also hit prisons hard around the world.

Great geographical, national and regional differences characterize the state of health of people in prison. And this is why a public health and global health approach in the analysis of the health problems of people in prison is very topical and urgent, to provide concrete data to decision makers and make innovative proposals.

Often the prison context presents critical issues that come to undermine human dignity. But in many cases prisons have been and are areas where new forms of social and health assistance are being tested, which seek to focus on the prisoner as a human being in need of care, especially in the deprivation of freedom.

This Research Topic aims to collect examples, good practices, reflections based on data and evidences to encourage a debate as open as possible on the state of health of people in prison, who are by all means persons belonging to society and not excluded from it. As the examples of infectious diseases and COVID-19 show, the barriers between prison and society are porous. This porosity should be virtuously aimed at the creation of networks, paths and projects that favor territorial medicine and primary health assistance, with the prison as a "health point" where people can be intercepted for the assessment of their state of health, treated and followed for acute diseases and above all linked to care for chronic conditions and mental health problems, even once released.

A network that involves other realities strictly connected to prison, such as drug addiction services, services for the homeless, the realities that deal with undocumented migrants and all the social marginal groups that tend to be forgotten and neglected from public health policies, especially in times of great emergency and social turmoil such as the one we are experiencing.

These are the ten public health topics and challenges about which we ask you to submit your manuscripts and contributions to this Research Topic:

• Vaccinations;

• Management of the COVID-19 pandemic at various levels;

• Drug addiction, old problems and new perspectives;

• Mental health;

• Women's and transgender health;

• Adolescent Health (for a focus on juvenile detention centers);

• STD, epidemiology, screening and prevention programs;

• Challenges of chronicity;

• The specificities of health and illness of the foreign and migrant prisoner (considering that the issue of migrants is quite transversal to all topics);

• Analysis of the "pathogenic effect" of prisons (epidemiological differences between the prison population and the general population, it would be particularly interesting if it could include an evaluation of different prison contexts at an international level).

We hope to receive many contributions, from different parts of the world and from different social contexts, because we believe that the debate on the health of people in prison is an essential part of the analysis of the state of health of society. There is no public health without prison health.

Keywords: prison health, health inequalities, epidemiology, vulnerable groups, health care


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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