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Sickle Cell Anaemia and Deaths in Custody in the UK and the USA

15 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2006  

Simon M. Dyson

Unit for the Social Study of Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell, De Montfort University

Gwyneth Boswell

De Montfort University - Community and Criminal Justice Studies Unit; University of East Anglia - School of Allied Health Professions

Abstract

An unexplained death in custody represents an important focal point for public scrutiny of the criminal justice system, especially when excess deaths occur in those of minority ethnic descent. Sickle cell anaemia is a serious inherited blood disorder disproportionately affecting minority ethnic groups. Sickle cell trait is the genetic carrier state and not an illness. The evidence suggests that the treatment of sickle cell in the criminal justice system is twofold. Justice authorities have misused sickle cell trait to explain away ten sudden deaths, often associated with forced restraint, of African-Caribbean people in custody. Meanwhile, seven deaths have been attributable to lack of provision of health care for those prisoners suffering from the illness sickle cell anaemia.

Suggested Citation

Dyson, Simon M. and Boswell, Gwyneth, Sickle Cell Anaemia and Deaths in Custody in the UK and the USA. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 14-28, February 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=875034 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2311.2006.00401.x

Simon M. Dyson (Contact Author)

Unit for the Social Study of Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell, De Montfort University ( email )

Hawthorn Building
De Montfort University
Leicester, LE1 9BH
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.tascunit.com

Gwyneth Boswell

De Montfort University - Community and Criminal Justice Studies Unit ( email )

The Gateway
Leicester, LE1 9BH
United Kingdom

University of East Anglia - School of Allied Health Professions

Norwich NR4 7TJ, Norfolk
United Kingdom

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