In recent years, and in tandem with longstanding social justice organizing efforts, the broader public health community has begun to acknowledge and address the significant health impacts of mass incarceration. The Transitions Clinic Network, a model begun at San Francisco General Hospital, provides comprehensive health services to formerly incarcerated women and men. The Network is now expanding nationwide.
From 2012-14, as part of this expansion, City College of San Francisco adapted its series of courses that lead to a “Post Prison Health Worker Certificate” for online delivery, to train formerly incarcerated women and men to work as Community Health Workers in Transitions Clinics around the country. StoryCenter partnered with City College in leading two, four-day digital storytelling workshops to enable men and women to talk about their experiences of health, inside and outside of prison.
Part of the online “Post Prison” Certificate curriculum includes these digital stories, which are framed as examples of the long-term health effects of mass incarceration and as case study tools for building skills among Health Workers in training, for reaching out to the women and men that the Transitions Clinics serve. The stories are also being used to train medical providers who will be working in the expanded network of clinics.