Brie Williams, MD, MS


Dr. Brie Williams is a Professor of Medicine in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics, Director of the Criminal Justice & Health Program at UCSF and Director of Amend: Changing Correctional Culture.

Research and Academic Focus
Dr. Williams' works focuses on bringing the science of internal medicine, 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 a 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 older prisoners.

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, policy makers, 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 the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation, the National Palliative Care Research Center, 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. Role of a US-Norway Exchange in Placing Health and Well-Being at the Center of US Prison Reform.
  2. Strategies to Optimize the Use of Compassionate Release From US Prisons.
  3. The Cardiovascular Health Burdens of Solitary Confinement.
  4. Transforming Prison Culture to Improve Correctional Staff Wellness and Outcomes for Adults in Custody “The Oregon Way”: A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA’S CORRECTIONAL CULTURE CHANGE PROGRAM
  5. Improving care for the overlooked in oncology: incarcerated patients.
  6. Shackled at the End of Life: We Can Do Better.
  7. Association of Functional Impairment in Middle Age With Hospitalization, Nursing Home Admission, and Death.
  8. Mental health treatment among older adults with mental illness on parole or probation.
  9. Smoking and Smoking Cessation Among Criminal Justice-Involved Older Adults.
  10. The Cambia Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program: Projects and Reflections on Leadership in Palliative Care.
  11. Leadership, Inside and Out: The Tideswell-AGS-ADGAP Emerging Leaders in Aging Program.
  12. "No One Wants to Die Alone": Incarcerated Patients' Knowledge and Attitudes About Early Medical Release.
  13. Reply to "Cognitive Health and Incarceration among Older Adults".
  14. Words matter: a call for humanizing and respectful language to describe people who experience incarceration.
  15. "We Take Care of Patients, but We Don't Advocate for Them": Advance Care Planning in Prison or Jail.
  16. Cognition and Incarceration: Cognitive Impairment and Its Associated Outcomes in Older Adults in Jail.
  17. Six-Month Emergency Department Use among Older Adults Following Jail Incarceration.
  18. How do ED patients with criminal justice contact compare with other ED users? A retrospective analysis of ED visits in California.
  19. Relationship Between Expectation of Death and Location of Death Varies by Race/Ethnicity.
  20. Prison Health Care Governance: Guaranteeing Clinical Independence.
  21. Older adults in jail: high rates and early onset of geriatric conditions.
  22. Balancing the Rights to Protection and Participation: A Call for Expanded Access to Ethically Conducted Correctional Health Research.
  23. The Effect of Patient Navigation on the Likelihood of Engagement in Clinical Care for HIV-Infected Individuals Leaving Jail.
  24. Ageing prisoners: An introduction to geriatric health-care challenges in correctional facilities
  25. Examining the role of healthcare professionals in the use of solitary confinement.
  26. Differences between incarcerated and non-incarcerated patients who die in community hospitals highlight the need for palliative care services for seriously ill prisoners in correctional facilities and in community hospitals: A cross-sectional study.
  27. Advancing evidence-based interventions at the intersection of criminal justice and health.
  28. Mobilizing cross-sector community partnerships to address the needs of criminal justice-involved older adults: a framework for action.
  29. "Teach-to-Goal" to Better Assess Informed Consent Comprehension among Incarcerated Clinical Research Participants.
  30. Compassionate Release Policy Reform: Physicians as Advocates for Human Dignity.
  31. The changing epidemiology of HIV in the criminal justice system.
  32. Good Cop, Better Cop: Evaluation of a Geriatrics Training Program for Police.
  33. Guest editorial.
  34. Reducing the use and impact of solitary confinement in corrections.
  35. For Seriously Ill Prisoners, Consider Evidence-Based Compassionate Release Policies, Health Affairs
  36. Older Prisoners and the Physical Health Effects of Solitary Confinement.
  37. Detained and Distressed: Persistent Distressing Symptoms in a Population of Older Jail Inmates.
  38. Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and associated health and social vulnerabilities in older jail inmates.
  39. Challenges in Identifying Refugees in National Health Data Sets.
  40. Reforming Solitary-Confinement Policy--Heeding a Presidential Call to Action.
  41. The pains of imprisonment: challenging aspects of pain management in correctional settings.
  42. State of Research Funding From the National Institutes of Health for Criminal Justice Health Research.
  43. The state of research funding from the National Institutes of Health for criminal justice health research.
  44. A call to understand the mental health needs of older prisoners
  45. The need for higher standards in correctional healthcare to improve public health.
  46. Pain behind bars: the epidemiology of pain in older jail inmates in a county jail.
  47. Police on the front line of community geriatric health care: challenges and opportunities.
  48. Older jail inmates and community acute care use.
  49. Prisoner of war status, posttraumatic stress disorder, and dementia in older veterans.
  50. Responding to hepatitis C through the criminal justice system.
  51. "My older clients fall through every crack in the system": geriatrics knowledge of legal professionals.
  52. How health care reform can transform the health of criminal justice-involved individuals.
  53. Family matters: effects of birth order, culture, and family dynamics on surrogate decision-making.
  54. Paying the price: the pressing need for quality, cost, and outcomes data to improve correctional health care for older prisoners.
  55. Aging in correctional custody: setting a policy agenda for older prisoner health care.
  56. Addressing the aging crisis in U.S. criminal justice health care.
  57. Subjective social status and functional decline in older adults.
  58. How safe is your neighborhood? Perceived neighborhood safety and functional decline in older adults.
  59. Discussing overall prognosis with the very elderly.
  60. Training clinicians and building systems for an aging century
  61. Confined to ignorance: the absence of prisoner information from nationally representative health data sets.
  62. Balancing punishment and compassion for seriously ill prisoners.
  63. Selecting performance indicators for prison health care.
  64. The current state of quality of care measurement in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  65. Lost in translation: the unintended consequences of advance directive law on clinical care.
  66. The epidemiology of pain during the last 2 years of life.
  67. Coming home: health status and homelessness risk of older pre-release prisoners.
  68. Parole revocation among prison inmates with psychiatric and substance use disorders.
  69. Medication prescribing practices for older prisoners in the Texas prison system.
  70. "Below average" self-assessed school performance and Alzheimer's disease in the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study.
  71. Caregiving behind bars: correctional officer reports of disability in geriatric prisoners.
  72. Unraveling the relationship between literacy, language proficiency, and patient-physician communication.
  73. Functional limitations, socioeconomic status, and all-cause mortality in moderate alcohol drinkers.
  74. A clinical framework for improving the advance care planning process: start with patients' self-identified barriers.
  75. Hepatocellular carcinoma prevalence and mortality in a male state prison population.
  76. Psychiatric disorders and repeat incarcerations: the revolving prison door.
  77. Medical emergency department utilization patterns among uninsured patients with psychiatric disorders.
  78. Elder care in jails and prisons: Are we prepared?
  79. Engagement in multiple steps of the advance care planning process: a descriptive study of diverse older adults.
  80. Screening mammography in older women. Effect of wealth and prognosis.
  81. An advance directive redesigned to meet the literacy level of most adults: a randomized trial.
  82. Should health studies measure wealth? A systematic review.
  83. End-stage liver disease in a state prison population.
  84. An electronic medical record intervention increased nursing home advance directive orders and documentation.
  85. Functional impairment, race, and family expectations of death.
  86. Use of a modified informed consent process among vulnerable patients: a descriptive study.
  87. Being old and doing time: functional impairment and adverse experiences of geriatric female prisoners.