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Jail: A Found Opportunity for Intervening With Drug-Abusing Pregnant Women

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Health Care Volume: 1 Dated: (Fall 1994) Pages: 17-38
Date Published
22 pages
This article discusses the need for and characteristics of jail-based programs for drug-abusing, pregnant jail inmates.

Although this article does not advocate jailing pregnant drug-abusing women, the volume of women offenders now processed through jails provides a unique opportunity to identify drug- abusing women early in their pregnancies, provide them with prenatal medical services, and facilitate their entry into drug treatment and rehabilitative programs. The need for this type of intervention strategy is apparent, and the rationale for program development well supported. The authors identified a few such programs for identifying and treating jailed drug-abusing, pregnant women. One program is described in this article as an example of how such programs may originate and function through collaborative effort. On a cost-per-client basis, jail programs for pregnant drug-abusing women appear costly; however, the long- term costs to society of drug-abusing women and drugs-exposed infants are much greater. Unfortunately, most local communities are unlikely to be in a position today to budget for the long- term. Consequently, if such programs are worthwhile, methods should be sought to support their development and continuance. 7 notes and 34 references

Date Published: January 1, 1994