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The Unites States has the highest documented incarceration rates in the world, with an estimated 1.5 million prisoners in state and federal correctional facilities. Race demographics do not mirror those of the general U.S. population, with higher incarceration rates among groups with higher nutrition related chronic disease prevalence. This has caused public health and clinical nutrition related burdens on the U.S. correctional system. Inmates have low socioeconomic status, limited access to healthcare prior to incarceration, and low health literacy. Provision of nutrition education and counseling beginning at diagnosis of chronic kidney disease has been shown to slow disease progression and improve nutritional biomarkers. Clinical RDNs in federal correctional institutions have demonstrated positive outcomes with this high risk population through implementation of medical diets, development of creative education programs and individual counseling.
CPE Level: 2
Learning Codes: 5340, 4040, 3020
- Identify public health nutrition challenges caused by expanded incarceration rates.
- Recognize opportunities for nutrition interventions within the correctional setting that are targeted to this low health literacy population.
- Describe specific evidence-based approaches to improve current practice.
- Julie Driscoll, RDN, CSG, CSR, LDN
- Mitchel Holliday, MS, MSED, RDN, CDE, FAND