This issue of Practicing Anthropology focuses on a complex multi-disciplinary approach to criminal justice and population health: “Health Disparities in Jail Populations: Converging Epidemics of Infectious Disease, Behavioral Health, Chronic Illness, and Substance Abuse.” The impetus for the research and the publication of our results was created by an existing collaboration between our newly established Center for Health Equity Research (NAU/CHER), the Coconino County Health District, The Coconino County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the NARBHA Institute (a local charitable trust), and engaged scholars across various Institutes and Centers at Northern Arizona University. While numerous articles from the project are being published in discipline centric, high impact, peer referred journals, we have also been strongly encouraged to actively disseminate our findings at the basic community level, as well as regional and national outlets. Only a very small number of dissemination outlets allow us to put together the “complex whole” that is represented by the integrated data from the project. Even fewer allow us to include community level impacts of that integration. As a consequence, an important part of our rationale for the production of this special issue of PA is that it provides us with an opportunity to actively promote a more holistic approach, a community engaged model to address environmental justice, community action, and medical anthropology models for action. — Robert T. Trotter, II
Robert T. Trotter II (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an Arizona Regents’ Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Northern Arizona University. He is a medical anthropologist with research interests and publications within the confluence of issues in cross-cultural health care delivery, prevention science, organizational research, ethnographic methods, social network analysis, ethics, alcohol and drug abuse, evaluation research, community-based participatory research, rapid ethnographic assessment, HIV/AIDS prevention, culturally competent interventions, and cultural models research. His recent research efforts focus on mixed methods research designs targeted at understanding the factors that create complex public health conditions for vulnerable populations within the context of environmental health and environmental justice. He is currently serving as Lead Director for the Research Infrastructure Core for the Southwest Health Equities Research Collaborative (NIH U54) and as PI for the Health Disparities in Jail Populations: Converging Epidemics. The latter research is focused on the intersection of co-morbidities of Behavioral Health, Infectious Disease, and Chronic Illness, and substance abuse in Jail Populations, as well as genomic analysis of transmission of infectious disease in incarcerated populations.