Brie Williams, MD, MS


Dr. Brie Williams is a Professor of Medicine in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics, Director of Amend at UCSF: Changing Correctional Culture, and Co-Director of the ARCH (Aging Research in Criminal Justice Health) Network.

Research and Academic Focus
Dr. Williams' work focuses on using the science of public health, geriatrics, and palliative care to address health-oriented challenges in criminal justice reform. She collaborates with colleagues from diverse disciplines (including criminal justice, public safety, and the law) to conduct impact-oriented research and education aimed at improving the health of all who live or work in U.S. correctional facilities.

Dr. Williams' clinical research has called for improved responses to disability, cognitive impairment, and environmental mismatch among older or seriously ill prisoners; a more scientific development of compassionate release policies; and broader inclusion of patients who are incarcerated in national health datasets and in clinical research. She has developed new methods for responding to the unique health needs of criminal justice-involved older adults — including an evidence-based approach to reforming compassionate release policies and the design of a new tool to assess physical functioning in incarcerated older adults.

Since 2014, Dr. Williams has also directed Amend at UCSF, an international program focused primarily on an immersion program in Norway for criminal justice leaders, policymakers, correctional officers, and staff which integrates the Scandinavian principles of normality, dignity and human rights into U.S. prisons and jails. She served as a member of the Workshop on Incarceration and Health sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. Her research has been supported by the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation, the National Palliative Care Research Center, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the National Institute on Aging, the UC Office of the President, and the Cambia Foundation.

Dr. Williams has served as a consultant for jails, prisons, and legal organizations nationwide, including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the National ACLU. She has participated as an expert witness in several lawsuits related to the physical health effects of solitary confinement. In 2016, Dr. Williams provided expert testimony to the US Sentencing Commission on proposed changes to Compassionate Release policies.
2018 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California
MS - Community Medicine, - Community Medicine, The Icahn School of Medicine
MD, - School of Medicine, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Geriatrics Fellowship, - Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco
Training in Aging Research, - Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco
Residency, - School of Medicine - Primary Care, University of California, San Francisco
  1. Golembeski CA, Sufrin CB, Williams B, Bedell PS, Glied SA, Binswanger IA, Hylton D, Winkelman TNA, Meyer JP. Improving Health Equity for Women Involved in the Criminal Legal System. 2020. PMID: 32739132

  2. Sears D, Ahalt C, Augustine D, Williams B. Occupational Health: A Key to the Control of COVID-19 in Correctional Facilities. 2020. PMID: 32716628

  3. Prost SG, Novisky MA, Rorvig L, Zaller N, Williams B. Prisons and COVID-19: A Desperate Call for Gerontological Expertise in Correctional Healthcare. 2020. PMID: 32706885

  4. Cloud DH, Ahalt C, Augustine D, Sears D, Williams B. Medical Isolation and Solitary Confinement: Balancing Health and Humanity in US Jails and Prisons During COVID-19. 2020. PMID: 32632787

  5. Barnert E, Ahalt C, Williams B. Prisons: Amplifiers of the COVID-19 Pandemic Hiding in Plain Sight. 2020. PMID: 32407126

  6. Howell B, Ramirez Batlle H, Ahalt C, Shavit S, Augustine D, Wang E, Zaller N, Williams B.. Protecting Decarcerated Populations In The Era of COVID-19: Priorities For Emergency Discharge Planning. Health Affairs Blog 2020. PMID:

  7. Williams B, Ahalt C, Cloud D, Augustine D, Rorvig L, Sears D. Correctional Facilities In The Shadow Of COVID-19: Unique Challenges And Proposed Solutions 2020. PMID:

  8. Ahalt C, Haney C, Ekhaugen K, Williams B. Role of a US-Norway Exchange in Placing Health and Well-Being at the Center of US Prison Reform. 2020. PMID: 31967893

  9. Williams BA, Li A, Ahalt C, Coxson P, Kahn JG, Bibbins-Domingo K. The Cardiovascular Health Burdens of Solitary Confinement. 2019. PMID: 31228050

  10. Oladeru OT, Perni S, Williams B. Improving care for the overlooked in oncology: incarcerated patients. 2019. PMID: 31578989

  11. DiTomas M, Bick J, Williams B. Shackled at the End of Life: We Can Do Better. 2019. PMID: 31237520

  12. Brown RT, Diaz-Ramirez LG, Boscardin WJ, Lee SJ, Williams BA, Steinman MA. Association of Functional Impairment in Middle Age With Hospitalization, Nursing Home Admission, and Death. 2019. PMID: 30958504

  13. Bryson WC, Cotton BP, Barry LC, Bruce ML, Piel J, Thielke SM, Williams BA. Mental health treatment among older adults with mental illness on parole or probation. 2019. PMID: 30923982

  14. Ahalt C, Buisker T, Myers J, Williams B. Smoking and Smoking Cessation Among Criminal Justice-Involved Older Adults. 2019. PMID: 30890860

  15. Dahlin C, Sanders J, Calton B, DeSanto-Madeya S, Donesky D, Lakin JR, Roeland E, Scherer JS, Walling A, Williams B. The Cambia Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program: Projects and Reflections on Leadership in Palliative Care. 2019. PMID: 30810459

  16. Chang A, Lundebjerg NE, Abrams J, Barnes DE, Fain MJ, Hall WJ, Johnson TM, Michael Harper G, Williams B, Ritchie CS. Leadership, Inside and Out: The Tideswell-AGS-ADGAP Emerging Leaders in Aging Program. 2019. PMID: 30604860

  17. Kanbergs A, Ahalt C, Cenzer IS, Morrison RS, Williams BA. "No One Wants to Die Alone": Incarcerated Patients' Knowledge and Attitudes About Early Medical Release. 2018. PMID: 30593912

  18. Ahalt C, Williams BA. Reply to "Cognitive Health and Incarceration among Older Adults". 2018. PMID: 30521093

  19. Tran NT, Baggio S, Dawson A, O'Moore É, Williams B, Bedell P, Simon O, Scholten W, Getaz L, Wolff H. Words matter: a call for humanizing and respectful language to describe people who experience incarceration. 2018. PMID: 30445949

  20. Ekaireb R, Ahalt C, Sudore R, Metzger L, Williams B. "We Take Care of Patients, but We Don't Advocate for Them": Advance Care Planning in Prison or Jail. 2018. PMID: 30300941

  21. Ahalt C, Stijacic-Cenzer I, Miller BL, Rosen HJ, Barnes DE, Williams BA. Cognition and Incarceration: Cognitive Impairment and Its Associated Outcomes in Older Adults in Jail. 2018. PMID: 30232805

  22. Humphreys J, Ahalt C, Stijacic-Cenzer I, Widera E, Williams B. Six-Month Emergency Department Use among Older Adults Following Jail Incarceration. 2018. PMID: 29204845

  23. Romo RD, Cenzer IS, Williams BA, Smith AK. Relationship Between Expectation of Death and Location of Death Varies by Race/Ethnicity. 2018. PMID: 29724110

  24. Pont J, Enggist S, Stöver H, Williams B, Greifinger R, Wolff H. Prison Health Care Governance: Guaranteeing Clinical Independence. 2018. PMID: 29470125

  25. Greene M, Ahalt C, Stijacic-Cenzer I, Metzger L, Williams B. Older adults in jail: high rates and early onset of geriatric conditions. 2018. PMID: 29455436

  26. Myers JJ, Kang Dufour MS, Koester KA, Morewitz M, Packard R, Monico Klein K, Estes M, Williams B, Riker A, Tulsky J. The Effect of Patient Navigation on the Likelihood of Engagement in Clinical Care for HIV-Infected Individuals Leaving Jail. 2018. PMID: 29345992

  27. Ahalt C, Rothman A, Williams BA. Examining the role of healthcare professionals in the use of solitary confinement. 2017. PMID: 29066498

  28. Metzger L, Ahalt C, Kushel M, Riker A, Williams B. Mobilizing cross-sector community partnerships to address the needs of criminal justice-involved older adults: a framework for action. Volume 13 of Issue 3-4. 2017. PMID: 28914125

  29. Ahalt C, Sudore R, Bolano M, Metzger L, Darby AM, Williams B. "Teach-to-Goal" to Better Assess Informed Consent Comprehension among Incarcerated Clinical Research Participants. Volume 19 of Issue 9. 2017. PMID: 28905727

  30. Baillargeon J, Pulvino JS, Leonardson JE, Linthicum LC, Williams B, Penn J, Williams RS, Baillargeon G, Murray OJ. The changing epidemiology of HIV in the criminal justice system. 2017. PMID: 28449629

  31. Brown RT, Ahalt C, Rivera J, Stijacic Cenzer I, Wilhelm A, Williams BA. Good Cop, Better Cop: Evaluation of a Geriatrics Training Program for Police. 2017. PMID: 28436006

  32. Ahalt C, Williams B. Guest editorial. 2017. PMID: 28299965

  33. Ahalt C, Haney C, Rios S, Fox MP, Farabee D, Williams B. Reducing the use and impact of solitary confinement in corrections. 2017. PMID: 28299967

  34. Bolano M, Ahalt C, Ritchie C, Stijacic-Cenzer I, Williams B. Detained and Distressed: Persistent Distressing Symptoms in a Population of Older Jail Inmates. 2016. PMID: 27534904

  35. Flatt JD, Williams BA, Barnes D, Goldenson J, Ahalt C. Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and associated health and social vulnerabilities in older jail inmates. 2016. PMID: 27367335

  36. Semere W, Yun K, Ahalt C, Williams B, Wang EA. Challenges in Identifying Refugees in National Health Data Sets. 2016. PMID: 27196649

  37. Lisa C. Barry and Brie A. Williams. A call to understand the mental health needs of older prisoners 2015. PMID:

  38. Rich JD, Allen SA, Williams BA. The need for higher standards in correctional healthcare to improve public health. 2014. PMID: 25523471

  39. Williams BA, Ahalt C, Stijacic-Cenzer I, Smith AK, Goldenson J, Ritchie CS. Pain behind bars: the epidemiology of pain in older jail inmates in a county jail. 2014. PMID: 25265035

  40. Brown RT, Ahalt C, Steinman MA, Kruger K, Williams BA. Police on the front line of community geriatric health care: challenges and opportunities. 2014. PMID: 25378267

  41. Chodos AH, Ahalt C, Cenzer IS, Myers J, Goldenson J, Williams BA. Older jail inmates and community acute care use. 2014. PMID: 25033146

  42. Meziab O, Kirby KA, Williams B, Yaffe K, Byers AL, Barnes DE. Prisoner of war status, posttraumatic stress disorder, and dementia in older veterans. 2014. PMID: 24924674

  43. Rich JD, Allen SA, Williams BA. Responding to hepatitis C through the criminal justice system. 2014. PMID: 24827032

  44. Soones T, Ahalt C, Garrigues S, Faigman D, Williams BA. "My older clients fall through every crack in the system": geriatrics knowledge of legal professionals. 2014. PMID: 24611718

  45. Rich JD, Chandler R, Williams BA, Dumont D, Wang EA, Taxman FS, Allen SA, Clarke JG, Greifinger RB, Wildeman C, Osher FC, Rosenberg S, Haney C, Mauer M, Western B. How health care reform can transform the health of criminal justice-involved individuals. 2014. PMID: 24590946

  46. Su CT, McMahan RD, Williams BA, Sharma RK, Sudore RL. Family matters: effects of birth order, culture, and family dynamics on surrogate decision-making. Volume 62 of Issue 1. 2014. PMID: 24383459

  47. Williams BA, Stern MF, Mellow J, Safer M, Greifinger RB. Aging in correctional custody: setting a policy agenda for older prisoner health care. 2012. PMID: 22698042

  48. Williams BA, Goodwin JS, Baillargeon J, Ahalt C, Walter LC. Addressing the aging crisis in U.S. criminal justice health care. 2012. PMID: 22642489

  49. Chen B, Covinsky KE, Stijacic Cenzer I, Adler N, Williams BA. Subjective social status and functional decline in older adults. 2012. PMID: 22215272

  50. Sun VK, Stijacic Cenzer I, Kao H, Ahalt C, Williams BA. How safe is your neighborhood? Perceived neighborhood safety and functional decline in older adults. 2011. PMID: 22160889

  51. Smith AK, Williams BA, Lo B. Discussing overall prognosis with the very elderly. 2011. PMID: 22150033

  52. Chang A, Chur E, Kao H, Kawahara S, Williams B. Training clinicians and building systems for an aging century 2011. PMID:

  53. Ahalt C, Binswanger IA, Steinman M, Tulsky J, Williams BA. Confined to ignorance: the absence of prisoner information from nationally representative health data sets. 2011. PMID: 21922160

  54. Williams BA, Sudore RL, Greifinger R, Morrison RS. Balancing punishment and compassion for seriously ill prisoners. Volume 155 of Issue 2. 2011. PMID: 21628351

  55. Asch SM, Damberg CL, Hiatt L, Teleki SS, Shaw R, Hill TE, Benjamin-Johnson R, Eisenman DP, Kulkarni SP, Wang E, Williams B, Yesus A, Grudzen CR. Selecting performance indicators for prison health care. 2011. PMID: 21525117

  56. Teleki SS, Damberg CL, Shaw R, Hiatt L, Williams B, Hill TE, Asch SM. The current state of quality of care measurement in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 2011. PMID: 21525115

  57. Castillo LS, Williams BA, Hooper SM, Sabatino CP, Weithorn LA, Sudore RL. Lost in translation: the unintended consequences of advance directive law on clinical care. Volume 154 of Issue 2. 2011. PMID: 21242368

  58. Smith AK, Cenzer IS, Knight SJ, Puntillo KA, Widera E, Williams BA, Boscardin WJ, Covinsky KE. The epidemiology of pain during the last 2 years of life. 2010. PMID: 21041575

  59. Williams BA, McGuire J, Lindsay RG, Baillargeon J, Cenzer IS, Lee SJ, Kushel M. Coming home: health status and homelessness risk of older pre-release prisoners. Volume 25 of Issue 10. 2010. PMID: 20532651

  60. Baillargeon J, Williams BA, Mellow J, Harzke AJ, Hoge SK, Baillargeon G, Greifinger RB. Parole revocation among prison inmates with psychiatric and substance use disorders. 2009. PMID: 19880471

  61. Williams BA, Baillargeon JG, Lindquist K, Walter LC, Covinsky KE, Whitson HE, Steinman MA. Medication prescribing practices for older prisoners in the Texas prison system. 2009. PMID: 19762661

  62. Mehta KM, Stewart AL, Langa KM, Yaffe K, Moody-Ayers S, Williams BA, Covinsky KE. "Below average" self-assessed school performance and Alzheimer's disease in the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study. 2009. PMID: 19751917

  63. Williams BA, Lindquist K, Hill T, Baillargeon J, Mellow J, Greifinger R, Walter LC. Caregiving behind bars: correctional officer reports of disability in geriatric prisoners. 2009. PMID: 19582902

  64. Sudore RL, Landefeld CS, Pérez-Stable EJ, Bibbins-Domingo K, Williams BA, Schillinger D. Unraveling the relationship between literacy, language proficiency, and patient-physician communication. Volume 75 of Issue 3. 2009. PMID: 19442478

  65. Lee SJ, Sudore RL, Williams BA, Lindquist K, Chen HL, Covinsky KE. Functional limitations, socioeconomic status, and all-cause mortality in moderate alcohol drinkers. Volume 57 of Issue 6. 2009. PMID: 19473456

  66. Schickedanz AD, Schillinger D, Landefeld CS, Knight SJ, Williams BA, Sudore RL. A clinical framework for improving the advance care planning process: start with patients' self-identified barriers. Volume 57 of Issue 1. 2009. PMID: 19170789

  67. Baillargeon J, Snyder N, Soloway RD, Paar D, Baillargeon G, Spaulding AC, Pollock BH, Arcari CM, Williams BA, Raimer BG. Hepatocellular carcinoma prevalence and mortality in a male state prison population. 2009. PMID: 19413034

  68. Baillargeon J, Binswanger IA, Penn JV, Williams BA, Murray OJ. Psychiatric disorders and repeat incarcerations: the revolving prison door. 2008. PMID: 19047321

  69. Baillargeon J, Thomas CR, Williams B, Begley CE, Sharma S, Pollock BH, Murray OJ, Pulvino JS, Raimer B. Medical emergency department utilization patterns among uninsured patients with psychiatric disorders. 2008. PMID: 18587001

  70. Williams B, Greifinger R. Elder care in jails and prisons: Are we prepared? 2008. PMID:

  71. Sudore RL, Schickedanz AD, Landefeld CS, Williams BA, Lindquist K, Pantilat SZ, Schillinger D. Engagement in multiple steps of the advance care planning process: a descriptive study of diverse older adults. Volume 56 of Issue 6. 2008. PMID: 18410324

  72. Williams BA, Lindquist K, Sudore RL, Covinsky KE, Walter LC. Screening mammography in older women. Effect of wealth and prognosis. Volume 168 of Issue 5. 2008. PMID: 18332298

  73. Sudore RL, Landefeld CS, Barnes DE, Lindquist K, Williams BA, Brody R, Schillinger D. An advance directive redesigned to meet the literacy level of most adults: a randomized trial. Volume 69 of Issue 1-3. 2007. PMID: 17942272

  74. Pollack CE, Chideya S, Cubbin C, Williams B, Dekker M, Braveman P. Should health studies measure wealth? A systematic review. 2007. PMID: 17826585

  75. Baillargeon J, Soloway RD, Paar D, Giordano TP, Murray O, Grady J, Williams B, Pulvino J, Raimer BG. End-stage liver disease in a state prison population. 2007. PMID: 17689260

  76. Lindner SA, Davoren JB, Vollmer A, Williams B, Landefeld CS. An electronic medical record intervention increased nursing home advance directive orders and documentation. 2007. PMID: 17608871

  77. Williams BA, Lindquist K, Moody-Ayers SY, Walter LC, Covinsky KE. Functional impairment, race, and family expectations of death. 2006. PMID: 17087694

  78. Sudore RL, Landefeld CS, Williams BA, Barnes DE, Lindquist K, Schillinger D. Use of a modified informed consent process among vulnerable patients: a descriptive study. Volume 21 of Issue 8. 2006. PMID: 16881949

  79. Williams BA, Lindquist K, Sudore RL, Strupp HM, Willmott DJ, Walter LC. Being old and doing time: functional impairment and adverse experiences of geriatric female prisoners. Volume 54 of Issue 4. 2006. PMID: 16686886