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Restrained Voices: Female Inmates' Views of Health Services in Two Ohio Prisons

NCJ Number
Women & Criminal Justice Volume: 16 Issue: 3 Dated: 2005 Pages: 67-89
Nawal H. Ammar; Robert R. Weaver
Date Published
23 pages
This study examined female inmates’ perceptions of health care delivery in two Ohio prisons.
The results indicate that women are only comfortable discussing physical ailments with prison health care personnel and are reluctant to talk with them about mental health care or HIV. The participants reported that a female-oriented approach to health care in prisons would significantly improve prison health care. The authors point out that the female-oriented health care approach is not rooted in differences in the ailments between male and female inmates but rather by the differences in the ways that men and women encounter and respond to health care providers and illnesses. Other findings revealed that women frequently complained of back problems and about the nature and quality of health care that was delivered. Many complained of a lack of compassion from the medical staff. Fifty-six female inmates participated in face-to-face interviews regarding the role gender plays in prison health care delivery. The research was part of a larger research project that examined health care delivery in Ohio prisons from the perspectives of administrators, service providers, and offenders. The current analysis focused on the interviews of female prisoners from two women’s prisons in Ohio. Participants were purposively sampled from each category of health service consumption to ensure a variety of health care pattern use. Future research should focus on the relationship between poverty and incarcerated women’s use of health care, as well as issues related to sexual assault and battering and the effects of co-payments on the frequency of prison health care use. Tables, notes, references


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