Health Issues In Prison

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Imprisonment for women can be very difficult for one to cope with due to all the negative and unhealthy attributes that come along with it. The health of women prisoners is the poor; the evident inequalities pose both a challenge and an opportunity for the health systems. Characteristics of prison populations and the disproportionate prevalence of health problems in prison should make prison health a matter of public health importance. More importantly, women prisoners constitute a minority within all prison systems and their special health needs are frequently neglected. The current provision of health care for imprisoned women fails to meet their needs and is, in too many cases, far short of what is required by human rights. There is…show more content…
There are immediate steps which could be taken to tackle public health neglect against women, abuses of their human rights and failures in gender sensitivity (van den Bergh, Gatherer, Fraser, Moller, 2011). The medical needs of females prisoners included many special issues such a pregnancy, abortions, birth control, and giving actual birth, etc. It is crucial when dealing with these women inmates needs to make sure that they receive the proper care. In addition, failure to properly assess or adequately treat their needs would have a disparate effect on the welfare of female inmates (Brennan, Austin, 1997). Most women in prison are mothers and/or the main carer for children, thus it is particularly important that ways be found of helping them to maintain family ties. Pregnancy and childbirth, pregnant women in prisons need special resources and attention to diet, exercise, clothing, medication and medical care. Prison is not an easy place to be pregnant and the inflexibility of a prison regime is incompatible with the needs and care of a pregnant body. Some complications may consist of women having a hard time getting enough rest, not enough nutrition and proper food, antenatal and postnatal care may not be seen as medical priorities by prison staff, alerting staff to a…show more content…
As a disenfranchised group, with high-risk factors for pregnancy and birth, women in prison and midwives who care for them face many challenges in the provision of equitable care that is accessible and effective (Price, 2005). Women in custody face a variety of physical and mental health issues. Given the high rates of abuse and victimization these women experience throughout their lives, it is not surprising that the incarcerated female population has a high demand for mental health services. Women in prison have significantly higher rates of mental illness compared to women in the general population. Thirteen percent of women in federal facilities and 24% of women in state prisons indicate that they have been diagnosed with a mental disorder (General Accounting Office, 1999). The pains of imprisonment, including the separation from family and adapting to the prison environment, can make these conditions worse. Women also face a variety of physical health needs. Women in prison are more likely to be HIV positive, presenting a unique challenge for the prison health care system. While women in the general United States population have an HIV infection rate of 0.3%, the rate of infection for women in state and federal facilities is 3.6%
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