Cynthia Golembeski

PhD and JD Candidate in Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University–Newark

About Cynthia

Golembeski is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar and Vice President of the New Jersey Public Health Association. She actively collaborates on health equity and criminal justice reform initiatives to achieve advocacy, policy, research, and service objectives for governmental agencies, academic institutions, and NGOs. She also teaches with the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons Consortium (NJ-STEP) at Rutgers-Newark. She is a former USAID Research and Innovation fellow and a Fulbright grantee to South Africa. She also serves on the Journal of Correctional Health Care and World Medical and Health Policy editorial boards. Research interests include criminal justice and health policy and management; equity; ethics; nonprofit management and philanthropy; state and local politics; and citizen-state relations.


In the News

"National Security Risks and the American Weak Link," Cynthia Golembeski (with Ans Irfan, Jonathan Williams, and Ashley Bieniek-Tobasco), Council on Foreign Relations Think Global Health, October 14, 2020.
Guest to discuss the lasting effects of incarceration on individuals and their families on Interview with Brian Standing, WORT 8 O'Clock Buzz, Cynthia Golembeski, June 22, 2020.
Guest to discuss what happens to persons who are convicted of a crime on The Attitude With Arnie Arnesen WNHN, Cynthia Golembeski, June 18, 2020.
"Being Convicted of a Crime Has Thousands of Consequences Besides Incarceration – And Some Last a Lifetime," Cynthia Golembeski, Economy + Business, The Conversation, June 15, 2020.
"COVID-19 Shows Us That Prison Healthcare Is in Dire Need of Reform," Cynthia Golembeski (with Ans Irfan, Brie Williams, and Homer Venters), London School of Economics US Centre’s American Politics and Policy Blog, June 1, 2020.


"Pandemic of Racism: Public Health Implications of Political Misinformation" (with Ans Irfan and Ashley Bieniek-Tobasco). Harvard Public Health Review (2020).

Discusses how misinformation amplified by political elites can lead to an increase in racism and discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities and other populations who experience vulnerabilities.

"COVID-19 and Women in the US Criminal Legal System" (with Carolyn Sufrin, Brie Williams, Precious Bedell, Sherry Glied, Ingrid Binswanger, Donna Hylton, Tyler Winkelman, and Jaimie Meyer). Harvard Law School Petrie-Flom Center Bill of Health (2020).

Explores how health and economic inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately harm women, and particularly women of color, involved in the criminal legal system.

"Improving Health Equity for Women Involved in the Criminal Legal System" (with Carolyn B. Sufrin, Brie Williams, Precious S. Bedell, Sherry A. Glied, Ingrid A. Binswanger, Donna Hylton, Tyler N. A. Winkelman, and Jaimie P. Meyer). Women’s Health Issues 30, no. 5 (2020): 313-319.

Discusses how over 1,000,000 women are under supervision of the U.S. criminal legal system. Outlines how with increased numbers in prison there are direct or indirect health effects impacting families and communities due to these increases.

"Food Insecurity and Collateral Consequences Among Justice-Involved Individuals Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic" (with Ans Irfan and Kimberly Dong). World Medical and Health Policy (Preprint).

Elaborates on how bans and eligibility modifications for people with felony drug convictions limit SNAP benefit access. Discusses how food insecurity, recidivism, and poor mental and physical health outcomes are positively associated with such bans. 

"Main Streets and Disaster: A Study of Regional Collective Efficacy" (with Mindy Thompson Fullilove , Jacob M. Izenberg, Martha Stitelman , and Rodrick Wallace). City 24 (2020): 166-177.

Examines two regions hit by disaster, and postulates that the unevenness of the Main Street nodes undermines collective efficacy and impedes recovery.  Discusses implications of planning for climate change and other future stressors.

"Book Review of Life and Death in Rikers Island" Public Integrity (2020).

Discusses how "In Life and Death in Rikers Island," Homer Venters, the former chief medical officer for New York City’s jails, performs a social autopsy of the “inaccessible island colony of nine jails on Rikers Island” and reveals the “deadly and long-lasting health risks of jail.” Addresses the analysis of the health risks of incarceration, with attention toward politics, policy, and power, necessitating a moral imperative to the problems of healthcare within the context of mass incarceration.