AnnotatedBibliography:Health Care Problems in Women’s Prisons
AnnotatedBibliography:Health Care Problems in Women’s Prisons
Acoca,L. (1998).Defusingthe Time Bomb: Understanding and Meeting the Growing Health CareNeeds of Incarcerated Women in America. Crimeand Delinquency,44(1),49-69.
Inthis paper, Acoca, a researcher on policy and programming efforts foryoung girls and women in the juvenile and criminal justice systems,examines the unique needs and health problems faced female prisonersin the United States. The article explains how the population offemale prisoners is increasing along with increased incarceration ofphysically challenged and aging women. Thus, it has introducedchallenges due to lack of compatible health care services to matchthe unique needs of these groups of inmates. Acoca investigates thereasons why most female inmates are reluctant to seek medical care.Then again, the paper examines institutional-based barriers such asprison policies and lack of skilled healthcare professionals, whichmakes it hard for some inmates to access health care services. Thearticle concludes with a thorough discussion of other studiesconducted on health-related concerns of female inmates. Additionally,the author examines the projects that can incorporate gender-specificneeds into the existing prison programs. The information is intendedfor healthcare providers working in the corrections systems, prisonadministrators, and officers. Similar to the articles on “Womenin Prison: Approaches in the Treatment of our Most InvisiblePopulation”and “Womenbehind Bars: Health Needs of Inmates in a County Jail”,this paper explains how drugs and substance abuse affect access tohealth care in prisons.
Binswanger,I. A., Redmond, N., Steiner, J. F., & Hicks, L. S. (2012). HealthDisparities and the Criminal Justice System: An Agenda for FurtherResearch and Action. Journalof Urban Health,89(1),98–107.
Theauthors, who work in the Division of General Internal Medicine,discuss the connection between the criminal justice system and healthcare services in prisons. The article offers valuable backgroundinformation to explain the causes for the increasing population offemale prisoners and the health issues they face while serving theirsentences. The authors analyze the issue of race and ethnicdisparities in prisons’ health care programs. Consequently, theydescribe how the criminal justice system affects health outcomesacross racial and ethnic groups. The paper contributes to theconclusion part of the research article because it makes extensiverecommendations on how the corrections systems and the criminaljustice system can improve healthcare services and facilities inwomen’s prisons. The information was intended for policy makers inthe criminal justice system and corrections systems because itexplains the benefits using comprehensive policies to address thehealth care issues in prison. The information provided contrasts withother articles because it investigates the issue of health caredisparities from a racial perspective. However, some of theinformation corresponds to the claims in the article on TheHealth and Health Care of US Prisoners: Results of a National WideSurveybecause they both describe the role in the criminal justice system incontributing to health disparities in the corrections systems.
Braithwaite,R. L., Arriola, K. R. J., & Treadwell, H. M. (2005). HealthDisparities and Incarcerated Women: A Population Ignored. AmericanJournal of Public Health, 95(10),1679-1681.
Braithwaiteworks with the Department of Community Health and PreventiveMedicine, Treadwell works with the National Center for Primary Care,and Arriola at the Rollins School of Public Health. The authorsconducted research on how to improve the health of the marginalizedpopulations and communities of color. The article discusses how thepopulation of female prisoners has increased, but the criminaljustice and corrections systems continue to downplay the growing needfor adequate health care facilities in women’s prisons. The authorsgo further to explain the different needs of female inmates, whichare hardly addressed in the current health care programs andservices. Therefore, it provides background information on the femaleincarceration and then discusses how the increasing population hasaffected the access to health care services. The article is intendedfor the policy makers and health care professionals because they canfacilitate and advocate for change in the policies that govern theprovision of health care services in prisons. The paper supports theinformation in HealthDisparities and the Criminal Justice System: an Agenda for FurtherResearch and Action.The authors in both articles view the criminal justice system as oneof the major causes of health disparities among female inmates.
Covington,S.S. Women in Prison: Approaches in the Treatment of our MostInvisible Population. Womenand Therapy Journal, 21(1),141-155.
Dr.Stephanie Covington is recognized for her pioneering work in thefield of women’s issues. She specializes in the development andexecution of gender-responsive and trauma-related services in bothprivate and public sectors. In this paper, Covington explains thatfemale prisoners are some of the most invisible and misunderstoodwomen. The article describes the reasons behind the increasing numberof female inmates. It also discusses the treatment model byincorporating various aspects such as substance and drug abuse,sexual abuse, and violence, which may hinder a successful recoveryprocess. It explains addiction, trauma, and women’s psychologicaldevelopment as the three theoretical perspectives that areintertwined with recovery. The author concludes by givingrecommendations on how the criminal justice system can handle theissues of health care in female prisons. The information is intendedfor the policy makers in the criminal justice systems, correctionssystems administrators, and health care providers. Similar to thearticle on “HealthDisparities and Incarcerated Women: A Population Ignored”Covington describes that despite the increasing population in women’sprisons, the corrections system has not redesigned the facilities toaddress the specific needs of women.
FearnN. E. & Parker, K. (2005).HealthCare for Women Inmates: Issues, Perceptions, and PolicyConsiderations. CaliforniaJournal of Health Promotion, 3(2),1-22.
Inthis article, Fearn & Parker, working in the fields of socialpolicy and legal psychology, discuss the impacts of rapidlyincreasing population of female inmates on the health care services.The authors outline the primary health care needs of female prisonersand then conduct an in-depth examination of the challenges posed bythe female inmates. The article also examines the current standardsfor health care services and facilities for female inmates whileputting into consideration the lack of adequate resources in theprisons. According to Fearn & Parker, the corrections systemsface numerous challenges when providing medical care for women due toinadequate facilities and health care professionals (2005). The paperconcludes by making relevant suggestions on policy improvement toenhance access to health care services. Fearn & Parker use aunique approach from the other authors because they address theissues of healthcare from the women’s perspective. For that reason,the authors argue that education and treatment of communicablediseases should be given priority because it will minimize the riskof spreading these diseases in the society. Nonetheless, some of theinformation corresponds with the research on “HealthDisparities and the Criminal Justice System: an Agenda for FurtherResearch and Action”, “Women in Prison: International Problemsand Human Rights Based Approaches to Reforms”and “CriminalizedWomen and the Health Care System”.These articles acknowledge that neglecting medical care in the prisonsystems has adverse effects on the overall health of the communities.
Gainsborough,J. Women in Prison: International Problems and Human Rights BasedApproaches to Reforms. William& Mary Journal of Women and the Law,14(2),271-304.
Inthis article, Gainsborough, former director of the Washington officeof Penal Reform International, provides an overview of the womenprisoners. The author explains the common health care issues faced bywomen, despite their cultural and economic differences. According toGainsborough, some of the challenges are caused by the prison systemarchitecture because they were initially designed for male inmates,which make it hard to use the facilities to provide appropriatemedical care for women. The author claims that prisons are isolatedfrom the society, which makes it hard to form a national system ofinspection. Gainsborough suggests how the international laws can beused to provide a framework that can address the health issues in theUnited States’ prisons. The article is directed at the policymakers in the criminal justice system and corrections systems, humanrights advocates, and health care professionals. This paper providescomparable information to the articles on“Defusingthe Time Bomb: Understanding and Meeting the Growing Health CareNeeds of Incarcerated Women in America”,Womenin Prison: Approaches in the Treatment of Our Most InvisiblePopulation”,and “WomenBehind Bars: Health Needs of Inmates in a County Jail”.The authors equally explain the challenges caused by mental healthproblems, lack of social support,and substance abusewhen accessing health care services before and during incarceration.
Gatherer,A., Moller, L. F., Van den Bergh, B. J. (2009). Women are Health inPrison: Urgent Needs for Improvement in Gender Equity and SocialJustice. Bulletinof World Health Organization,87(6),406.
Theauthors, while working in the World Health Organization’s Europeregional office, analyzed the needs of women as the minority groupwithin prisons globally. The needs of female prisoners have oftenbeen overlooked despite the growing concerns among health careprofessionals, researchers, and human rights activists. The articlealso examines the mental health care needs of women, especially thosewho were separated from their children due to incarceration. Thepaper advocates for a different approach when dealing with the healthcare problems in the prisons. Gatherer, Moller & Van den Bergh,emphasizeon treating substance abuse because many female inmates areincarcerated due to drug-related problems. Then again, the articleexamines the importance of increasing political awareness and supportto change the policies governing health care in the correctionssystems.However, the article offers a unique perspective because it explainshow the society can view incarceration from a positive approach wherethey use the prison as a way of reaching the most disadvantaged womenin the society. The paper recommendsways in which politicians,policy makers, and administrators in the corrections systemscan improve the health care conditions in women’s prisons.The article supports the information on “Thehealth and health care of US prisoners: results of a national widesurvey” and“PreventativeHealthcare for Underserved Women: Results of a Prison Survey”because the authors emphasize on the treatment of mental illnessesand substance abuse problems. Likewise, the authors suggest usingeducation and disease prevention programs to promote access to healthcare similar to the solution provided in HealthCare for Women Inmates: Issues, Perceptions, and PolicyConsiderations.
Hatton,D. C., Kleffel, D., & Fisher, A. A. (2006). Prisoner’sPerspectives of Health Problems and Healthcare in a US Women’sJail. Journalof Women’s Health,44(1),119-136.
Hatton, Kleffel & Fisher, professors inthe School of Nursing and Health Science, providean insight into the health issues encountered by women in prisonsacross the United States. The researchers interviewed 78 inmates whoexplained the challenges they face when accessing medical services.The authors also gathered insights from the inmates to determine thepossible solutions for the health care issues they encountered. Theyalso explained how incarceration changed the women’s perception oftheir previously ignored health concerns. The article concludes byrecommending further research into the health issues affecting thefemale inmates. Health care providers and administrators in theprisons can use the information to make medical services moreaccessible to women. The information differs from all the otherarticles because it explains the barriers from the inmates’perspective. Accordingly, it discusses waiting time for treatment,privacy and dignity, co-payments, and concealing medical problems toget work opportunities as the main obstacles to health care access.
Magee,C.G., Turalba, R., Hult, J. R., & McMillan, S. (2005). PreventiveCare for Women in Prison: A Qualitative Community Health Assessmentof the Papanicolau Test and Follow-Up Treatment at a California StateWomen’s Prison. AmericanJournal of Public Health, 95(10),1712-1717.
Magee,Turalba, Hult, & McMillan, professors at San Francisco StateUniversity in the Department of Health Education, conducted researchand found that female inmates are vulnerable to many negative healthoutcomes such as cervical cancer. The authors conducted interviewswith inmates at a women’s prison in California to find out if thePap test and follow-up tests are effective. The study revealed thatthe process of conducting the Pap test did not meet the medical needsof the inmates. The article also explains the challenges the femaleinmates undergo when accessing reproductive health care such asnegative experiences with their health care providers. Moreover, theprison’s infrastructure and culture make it even more challengingfor the inmates to receive quality care. The information is valuablefor healthcare professionals, corrections systems administrators,officer, and policy makers. The article contrasts with all the othersources because it has mainly investigated the issues of reproductivehealth, particularly cervical cancer.
Moller,L., Fraser, A., Van den Bergh, B. J., & Gatherer, A. (2011).Imprisonment and Women’s Health: Concerns about Gender Sensitivity,Human Rights, and Public Health. Bulletinof the World Health Organization,89(9),689-694.
Thearticle starts by providing background information on the availableresources for the prisons’ medical facilities. Moller,et al., providesan overview of the prison populations and health care facilities indifferent countries. Subsequently, the authors describe thecharacteristics of most women prisoners and the challenges theyencounter such as being incarcerated away from home, which minimizestheir family ties and affects their mental well-being. The articledescribes the current situation by explaining the programs providedby the corrections systems to ensure that female prisoners haveaccess to health care. The paper also discusses recent development invarious countries, evaluates if these programs have a positive impacton health care systems, and suggests how they can be applied in otherregions as well. The article also provides suggestions on how toimprove the health care using comprehensive policies. The articleprovides unique information because it views the issues of healthcare in prison as a public health neglect and human rights abuse ingender sensitivity. Furthermore, it makes different recommendationson how to deal with the medical problems by using the community-basedservices to treat the issues of mental illnesses and substance abuse.The authors also suggest the use of community corrections programs toprotect public safety, reduce recidivism, and the operational costsof prison systems. Consequently, the article does not consider thehealth care issues to be the failure of the criminal justice system,but rather as a problem that should be addressed even at thecommunity level. The intended audience for include the policy makerssuch as the prison management, prison staff, health advocates, andpoliticians. The information compares to the data provided in thearticles on “Women’sHealth in Prison: Urgent Needs For Improvement in Gender Equity andSocial Justice”, “Women in Prison: Approaches in the Treatment ofour Most Invisible Population”,and “WomenBehind Bars: Health Needs of Inmates in a County Jail”.These articles emphasize on the issue of alcohol and drug dependencyas one of the leading causes of health care challenges in prisons
Nijhawan,A. E., Salloway, R., Nunn, A. S., Poshkus, M., & Clarke, J. G.(2010). Preventative Healthcare for Underserved Women: Results of aPrison Survey. Journalof Women’s Health.19(1),17-22.
Inthis article, Nijhawan, Salloway, Nunn, Poshkus, & Clarke,researchers inHIV and sexually transmitted infections, examinethe preventative health care needs of female inmates. The authorsconducted research into the health care problems throughcross-sectional interviews with randomly selected women prisoners.They collected data that considered various aspects of the inmates’demographics such as race, age, incarceration history, educationlevel, health insurance status, and living situation. The researchersalso included data on the history of mental illness and substanceuse. The article provides a brief introduction of preventative careand explains how it can benefit female inmates. Then, the authorsdescribe the health-related issues that are most prevalent amongfemale prisoners, which make these women a high-risk population. Thepaper explains the health care problems by evaluating the challengescaused by the inmates. For example, it examines the lack ofeducation, multiple incarcerations, and homelessness to measure thesocial instability of most inmates before incarceration.Subsequently, it evaluates how these factors contribute to limitedaccess to medical care in the community and during incarceration. Thearticle concludes by suggesting improvements in the prison system toaddress the unique needs of female prisoners. The information isintended for the policy makers in the criminal justice department,the health care professionals, and administrators in the correctionssystems. The information supports the articles on “Imprisonmentand Women’s Health: Concerns about Gender Sensitivity, HumanRights, and Public Health”,“Womenin Prison: International Problems and Human Rights Based Approachesto Reforms”,and “Women’sHealth in Prison: Urgent Needs for Improvement in Gender Equity andSocial Justice”.The authors of these articles explainthe importance of addressing health-related problems brought byhepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and substance abuse.
Sered,S. & Norton-Hawk, M. (2013). Criminalized Women and the HealthCare System. Journalof Correctional Health Care,19(3),164-177.
Whileworking at Suffolk University in the Department of Sociology, Sered &Norton-Hawk conducted research on women’s health and massincarceration. The article examines the challenges women encounterwhen accessing health care before, during, and after incarceration.The authors claim that the health care problems in a prison settingrelate to the wider health issues in the United States. They alsoexplained the issues that most inmates encounter when they try toaccess health care facilities and professionals. The articleconcludes with reasonable proposals for improving medical servicesand facilities in prison to manage the long-term health care needs offemale prisoners. The information is useful to the health careproviders, policy makers, prison administrators, and officers. The paper coincides with the data provided in “HealthDisparities and the Criminal Justice System: an Agenda for FurtherResearch and Action”and “Womenin Prison: International Problems and Human Rights Based Approachesto Reforms”because they discuss how medical care in prison affects the access tohealth care facilities in the community upon release. Additionally,both articles do not consider economic issues to be a significantobstacle when accessing health care services in prison.
Silk-Walker,P., Becker, T., & Fickenscher, A. (2001). Women Behind Bars:Health Needs of Inmates in a County Jail. PublicHealth Reports,116(3),191-196.
Theauthors, who are specialists in psychiatry, public health, andpreventive medicine, examine the areas where female inmates encounterdifficulties when dealing with issues of sexual abuse, drug andalcohol abuse, spirituality, and sexuality. The article aims atincreasing awareness of women’s lives in the criminal justicesystem. Silk-Walker, Becker & Fickenscher, examine the currenttreatments and health care programs the female inmates. This papergives an in-depth analysis of the theory of addiction, the theory ofwomen’s development, and the theory of trauma. Similar to Acoca’sarticle on Defusingthe Time Bomb: Understanding and Meeting the Growing Health CareNeeds of Incarcerated Women in America,this paper provide a comprehensive introduction by explaining thereasons behind the increasing population of female offenders.Likewise, the article mainly concentrates on health care challengesthat are introduced by alcohol and drug addiction among inmates.Lastly, the authors argue that the criminal justice system canimprove health care services for female inmates using a comprehensiverecovery plan for drug and alcohol addicts. The research supportsinformation in Covington’s article on Womenin Prison: Approaches in the Treatment of our Most InvisiblePopulationbecause they both integrate the theory of addiction, trauma, andwomen’s psychological development. The two articles also emphasizeon the issues of drug abuse as one of the main challenges that hinderaccess to proper medical services in jail. The information isintended for the professionals in the criminal justice system,including correctional officials and policy makers.
Springer,S. A. (2010). Improving Healthcare for Incarcerated Women. Journalof Women’s Health,19(1),13–15.
Springer,a researcher on issues relating to HIV infections among drug andalcohol addicts, describes different medical conditions that are mostprevalent among female inmates. The research explains how health careservices are insufficient to deal with the unique medical needs offemale inmates. The article offers recommendations on how thecorrections system can incorporate preventative testing and treatmentprograms. The intended audience is the policy makers in the criminaljustice system because it provides information on how they canimplement comprehensive prevention and treatment programs that willreduce the risk of infecting others. The information is consistentwith the article on HealthDisparities and the Criminal Justice Systembecause the two papers discuss how to improve health care services,especially for inmates suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.The articles also explain that improving health care in prisonsdecreases transmission of the STDs and other communicable diseases toother uninfected people in the community once the inmates arereleased.
Wilper,A. P., Woolhandler, S., Boyd, W. J., Lasser, K. E., McCormick, D.,Bor, D. H., & Himmelstein, D. U. (2009). The Health and HealthCare of US Prisoners: Results of a National Wide Survey.American Journalof PublicHealth,99(4),666-672.
Theauthors, working in the Department of Medicine, conducted acomprehensive analysis of health care issues in prisons countrywide.They gathered information on common health care problems affectingfemale inmates in the local, state, and federal prisons. The articlepays much attention to the issue of mental health care problems andthe challenges the inmates encounter where they receive psychiatrictreatment. The authors show the importance of providing crucialhealth care services for female inmates. The article is intended forgovernment leaders, corrections systems administration, policy makersin the criminal justice system, and human rights activists all ofwhom have a significant role to play in improving the access tomedical facilities in prison to reduce recidivism. The articlecompares toHealth Disparities and the Criminal Justice Systembecause they view the policies used in the criminal justice system asone of the leading causes of health disparities in the prisons. Thispaper also discusses the impact of mental health problems similar toGainsborough’s article on Womenin Prison: International Problems and Human Rights Based Approachesto Reforms.