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. See www.amend.us for more information.
Research and Academic Focus
Dr. Williams' work draws on public health, human rights, geriatrics, and palliative care to transform toxic prison cultures and 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 function-environment mismatch among incarcerated older adults; a more scientific development of compassionate release policies for the seriously ill; and broader inclusion of people 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 2015, Dr. Williams has directed AMEND at UCSF, an international program focused on transforming US prison culture, in partnership with the Norwegian correctional service, by drawing on public health, human rights, occupational health, and the Scandinavian principles of normality, dynamic security and progression to center dignity and human rights in U.S. prisons and jails. Dr. Williams also Co-Directs the ARCH (Aging Research In Criminal Justice Health) network, funded by the National Institute on Aging.
Dr. Williams has served as a consultant for jails, prisons, and legal organizations nationwide, including for the Federal Receiver of 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, recommendations which were later incorporated into the First Step Act.