Grand Rounds: Arresting Hope and UBC Prison Health Research and Education Activities
Ruth Elwood Martin and Mo Korchinski
Ruth Elwood Martin, MD, FCFP, MPH
Ruth Elwood Martin is a UBC Clinical Professor, Department of Family Practice, and Associate Faculty, School of Population and Public Health. She is Lead Faculty for Research for the post-graduate family medicine program and Course Director for Doctor Patient and Society 410 (VFMP site). From 1994-2011, Ruth worked part-time as prison physician in provincial correctional centres. She is Director of the Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education (CCPHE), a group of interdisciplinary academics, policy makers, community organizations and men and women with previous incarceration experience, with a mission of enhancing social well-being and (re)integration of individuals in custody, their families and communities. CCPHE activities include developing prison health educational opportunities (for medical students, post-graduate residents, MPH students, and others) and fostering national/international prison health linkages. Ruth’s current community-based participatory research endeavours include a Vancouver Foundation-funded preventive health project with men and women with incarceration experience, who are now living in the community, and a CIHR-funded KT ‘Doing Time-Unlocking the Gates’ with women as they are released from prison.
Mo Korchinski has a long history of substance abuse and incarceration. Mo overcame these obstacles and is now living independently and is engaged in full time studies at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. Mo volunteers as a community based researcher with Women in2 Healing and works as a research assistant with the Canadian Institute of Health Research funded project “Doing Time Unlocking the Gates”. Mo has 6 years clean and sober and spends most of her spare time helping others in her community. Mo feels that the key to turning one’s life around and keeping it moving in the right direction is to help others turn their lives around. Mo is co-authoring a book called “Arresting Hope” and she has made a documentary “Revolving Door”. She is now filming a TV documentary about women’s release from prison, when the prison gate is unlocked and the doors to society are kept locked. Mo’s passion is to take her experience of addiction and the justice system to get people to see that changes are needed: to get the voices of women who are still inside of prison heard; and, to get policy makers to understand that change is needed in the prison system and in the communities.