RWJF 2013 Papers

Papers submitted as part of the 2013 Public Health Law Fellowship program.

Public Health Emergencies Across Tribal Boundaries: Jurisdictional Challenges and the Role of State-Tribal Agreements

Justin B. Barnard, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Maine Attorney General
This paper is offered as a catalyst for such planning efforts. The paper identifies some of the most pressing jurisdictional issues that may confront governments responding to a public health emergency on tribal lands with the aim of highlighting the nature of the problem and the need for action.

Identifying Emerging Public Health Issues in States with State-Level Marijuana Legalization

W. Eric Kuhn, Assistant Attorney General, State of Colorado Office of the Attorney General
This paper aims to identify emerging public health issues surrounding marijuana legalization schemes. The paper then connects these emerging issues with available resources or current data. As more states contemplate or adopt medical marijuana state-level legalization, public health departments will need to address or examine some of these issues.

Improving the Public Health Despite Constitutional Impediments

Kate Whelley McCabe Assistant Attorney General Office of the Vermont Attorney General
This paper seeks to assist State Attorneys General � as well as other policymakers and public health advocates � in taking the former path (Attorneys General serving as champions on public health policies) with respect to five important public health problems of our day: Obesity, Gun Violence, End-of-Life Care, Infectious Disease, and Prescription Drug Abuse.

Mental Health in Prisons: How Correctional Facilities Can Better Manage Litigation Arising from Inmate Self-Harm

Francis X. Sullivan, Assistant Attorney General, Wisconsin Department of Justice
This article addresses the legal implications of self-harm by inmates of correctional institutions. It first describes the legal framework for civil rights lawsuits based on inmate self-harm, including claims based on deliberate indifference, failure to protect, and conditions of confinement. Next, it identifies areas where correctional staff is particularly vulnerable to litigation in this area, including access to outside mental health information, treatment planning, continuity of care, management in segregated settings, crisis identification and response, and documentation. Finally, it lays out a framework for responding that focuses on identifying, managing, and treating potentially litigious inmates, providing additional training for correctional staff, and developing cross-state litigation resources.

A Review of New York City's Portion Cap Rule

Janelle Varley, Assistant Attorney General, Health and Public Assistance Section, North Carolina Department of Justice
This paper will review the Portion Cap Rule, a rule adopted by the New York City Board of Health, and its attempt to limit the maximum container size for SSBs and the subsequent litigation that ensued.

Using Law to Improve Tuberculosis Control Among Removable Aliens

Aubrey Joy Corcoran, J.D., M.P.H., Assistant Attorney General, Arizona Office of the Attorney General
This article addresses legal measures to improve treatment completion rates and, correspondingly, reduce TB transmission risk among removable aliens. Included are recommendations for states to amend their reportable disease statutes in an effort to improve TB reporting and notification for detained, removable aliens, as well as a recommendation for the federal government to consider the legal analysis set forth in this article and revisit its detention policies.

A Critical Analysis of Marijuana Laws in Michigan From a Public Health Perspective

John R. Wright, Assistant Attorney General, State of Michigan Office of Attorney General
This paper analyzes the progress that has been made to protect the public health in the wake of the enactment of Michigan�s medical marijuana law, and identify the pitfalls encountered along the way.

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