Proposing Abolition Theory for Carceral Medical Education

J Med Humanit. 2021 Apr 23. doi: 10.1007/s10912-021-09695-1. Online ahead of print.


Medical schools, like all institutions, are conservative since they seek to maintain and expand on their accomplishments. Stakes are high in carceral medicine given the risks of replicating the inhumane social conditions that exist within prisons and allow prisons to exist. Given the increasing number of partnerships between state and municipal carceral systems with academic medical centers, medical schools must consider which guiding theory they will use to teach carceral medicine. The interdisciplinary theory of prison abolition is best fit for the task of training medical students to think about the long term goals of societal change and public health.

Keywords: Carceral medicine; Criminal justice system; Mass incarceration; Prison abolition; Social justice.