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The Collision of Caring and Carceral Institutions

Our current ANS featured article is titled “Gender Influences in the Intersection of Acute Care: Registered Nurses and Law Enforcement – The Collision of Caring and Carceral Institutions” authored by Danisha Jenkins, PhD, RN; Candace Burton, PhD, RN and Dave Holmes, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCAN. We invite you to download the article while it is featured, and share your comments here! Dr. Jenkins shared this information about this work:

Danisha Jenkins

Over a decade ago, when working as a nurse in a detention center for children and adolescents, I was first introduced to my position in the intersection of nursing and law enforcement. I saw the ways in which nursing practice and ethics were deformed and often made impossible, when working within carceral walls. My heart was broken. I committed at that point to study and make visible this terrifying phenomenon I was participating in; one in which nurses became tentacles of a system causing unfathomable harm. As I continued my work in trauma and critical care, I continued to witness the carceral influence that pervaded in the acute care setting, particularly in the care of some of our most marginalized and at-risk communities. Today, as legislation is introduced such as requiring nurses to report patients and families for seeking such medical services as gender affirming and reproductive care, nurses increasingly must grapple with their role and interactions with law enforcement and the prison industry. This manuscript is one in a series that reports on a study titled “Care Incarcerated: The Intersection of Nurses and Law Enforcement in the Acute Care Setting”. We hope to strengthen insight and understanding as to the complexities, challenges, and dangers inherent to the intersection of these “caring” and “carceral” institutions.

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