Women are entering US prisons at nearly double the rate of men and are the fastest growing prison population. Current extant literature focuses on the prevalence of the incarceration of women, but few studies exist that emphasize the different trajectories to prison. For example, women prisoners have greater experiences of prior victimization, more reports of mental illness, and higher rates of illicit substance use. The purpose of this study was to understand the prevalence of childhood victimization and its association with adult mental health problems, substance abuse disorders, and further sexual victimization. The research team interviewed a random sample of 125 women prisoners soon to release from prison to gather information on their childhood physical and sexual victimization, mental health and substance abuse problems as an adult, and sexual victimization in the year preceding incarceration. Results indicate that women prisoners in this sample who were both physically and sexually victimized as a child were more likely to be hospitalized as an adult for a psychological or emotional problem. Women who were sexually victimized or both physically and sexually victimized were more likely to attempt suicide. Women who experienced physical victimization as children and women who were both physically and sexually victimized were more likely to have a substance use disorder and women who were sexually abused as children or both physically and sexually victimized were more likely to be sexually abused in the year preceding prison. This article ends with a discussion about prisons’ role in providing treatment for women prisoners and basing this treatment on women’s trajectories to prison...
We used data from a randomized controlled study of Oxford House (OH), a self-run, self-supporting recovery home, to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the program. Following substance abuse treatment, individuals that were assigned to an OH condition (n = 68) were compared to individuals assigned to a usual care condition (n = 61). Economic cost measures were derived from length of stay at an Oxford House residence, and derived from self-reported measures of inpatient and outpatient treatment utilization. Economic benefit measures were derived from self-reported information on monthly income, days participating in illegal activities, binary responses of alcohol and drug use, and incarceration. Results suggest that OH compared quite favorably to usual care: the net benefit of an OH stay was estimated to be roughly $29,000 per person on average. Bootstrapped standard errors suggested that the net benefit was statistically significant. Costs were incrementally higher under OH, but the benefits in terms of reduced illegal activity, incarceration and substance use substantially outweighed the costs. The positive net benefit for Oxford House is primarily driven by a large difference in illegal activity between OH and usual care participants. Using sensitivity analyses...
Peer-based models for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing have been implemented to increase access to testing in various settings. However, little is known about the acceptability of peer-delivered testing and counseling among people who inject drugs (IDU). During July and October 2011, data derived from the Mitsampan Community Research Project were used to construct three multivariate logistic regression models identifying factors associated with willingness to receive peer-delivered pre-test counseling, rapid HIV testing, and post-test counseling. Among a total of 348 IDU, 44, 38, and 36 % were willing to receive peer-delivered pre-test counseling, rapid HIV testing, and post-test counseling, respectively. In multivariate analyses, factors associated with willingness to access peer-delivered pre-test counseling included: male gender (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.48), higher than secondary education (AOR = 1.91), and binge drug use (AOR = 2.29) (all p < 0.05). Factors associated with willingness to access peer-delivered rapid HIV testing included: higher than secondary education (AOR = 2.06), binge drug use (AOR = 2.23), incarceration (AOR = 2.68), avoiding HIV testing (AOR = 0.24), and having been to the Mitsampan Harm Reduction Center (AOR = 1.63) (all p < 0.05). Lastly...
Diaphragmatic injuries due to thoraco-abdominal penetrating trauma may often go unnoticed at the initial admission, especially in patients who are asymptomatic, with stable hemodynamic and respiratory parameters. Such occult diaphragmatic perforations can result in latent morbidity and mortality due to delayed trans-diaphragmatic herniation of the abdominal viscera leading to incarceration, strangulation and perforation. Here we report a case of an initially asymptomatic patient who had sustained multiple truncal stab injuries and presented two months later with a trans-thoracic incarceration of the stomach which was accurately diagnosed and successfully repaired at the time of surgery. This case report highlights the importance of exploring thoraco-abdominal penetrating injuries even in the absence initial clinical and radiological signs, so as to promptly identify occult and isolated diaphragmatic perforations and prevent delayed catastrophes. The clinical features, radiological findings, diagnostic difficulties and surgical options are discussed along with review of relevant literature.
The U.S. now has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The majority of prison and jail inmates come from predominantly nonwhite and medically underserved communities. Although incarceration has adverse effects on both individual and community health, prisons and jails have also been used successfully as venues to provide health services to people with HIV who frequently lack stable health care. We review demographic trends shaping the difficulties in providing care to incarcerated people with HIV, and recommend the Centers for AIDS Research Collaboration on HIV in Corrections (CFAR-CHIC) as a model of interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing those difficulties.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has received considerable attention with regard to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In studies of veterans, behavioral sequelae of PTSD can include hostile and violent behavior. Rates of PTSD found in impoverished, high-risk urban populations within U.S. inner cities are as high as in returning veterans. The objective of this study was to determine whether civilian PTSD is associated with increased risk of incarceration and charges related to violence in a low-income, urban population. Participants (n = 4,113) recruited from Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, completed self-report measures assessing history of trauma, PTSD symptoms, and incarceration. Both trauma exposure and civilian PTSD remained strongly associated with increased risk of involvement in the criminal justice system and charges of a violent offense, even after adjustment for sex, age, race, education, employment, income, and substance abuse in a regression model. Trauma and PTSD have important implications for public safety and recidivism.
Scholars of mass incarceration point to the 1970s as a pivotal turning point in U.S. penal history, marked by a shift towards more punitive policies and a consensus that “nothing works” in rehabilitating inmates. However, while there has been extensive research on changes in policy-makers’ rhetoric, sentencing policy, and incarceration rates, we know very little about changes in the actual practices of punishment and prisoner rehabilitation. Using nationally representative data for U.S. state prisons, this article demonstrates that there were no major changes in investments in specialized facilities, funding for inmate services-related staff, or program participation rates throughout the late 1970s and the 1980s. Not until the 1990s, more than a decade after the start of the punitive era, do we see patterns of inmate services change, as investments in programming switch from academic to reentry-related programs. These findings suggest that there is a large gap between rhetoric and reality in the case of inmate services and that since the 1990s, inmate “rehabilitation” has increasingly become equated with reentry-related life skills programs.
Data collection using the life event calendar method is growing, but reliability is not well established. We examine test-retest reliability of monthly self-reports of criminal behavior collected using a life event calendar from a random sample of minimum and medium security prisoners. Tabular analysis indicates substantial agreement between self-reports of drug dealing, property, and violent crime during a baseline interview (test) and a follow-up (retest) approximately three weeks later. Hierarchical analysis reveals that criminal activity reported during the initial test is strongly associated with responses given in the retest, and that the relationship varies only by the lag in days between the initial interview and the retest. Analysis of validity reveals that self-reported incarceration history is strongly predictive of official incarceration history although we were unable to address whether subjects could correctly identify the months they were incarcerated. African Americans and older subjects provide more valid responses but in practical terms the differences in validity are not large.
Theories of health behavior change suggest that perceived susceptibility to illness precedes health-protective behavior. We used a cross-lagged panel design to explore the relationship between perceived susceptibility to AIDS, and HIV risk behavior pre-incarceration and post-release in a sample of 499 jail inmates, a group at high risk for HIV. We also explored moderators of this relationship. HIV risk was calculated with a Bernoulli mathematical process model. Controlling for pre-incarceration HIV risk, perceived susceptibility to AIDS predicted less post-release HIV risk; the reverse relationship was not supported. Consistent with health behavior change theories, perceived susceptibility seemed to partially guide behavior. However, this relationship was not true for everyone. African-Americans and individuals high in borderline personality features exhibited no relationship between perceived susceptibility and changes in HIV risk. This suggests that targeted interventions are needed to use information about risk level to prevent HIV contraction.
Scholars have long argued that inmate behaviors stem in part from cultural belief systems that they “import” with them into incarcerative settings. Even so, few empirical assessments have tested this argument directly. Drawing on theoretical accounts of one such set of beliefs—the code of the street—and on importation theory, we hypothesize that individuals who adhere more strongly to the street code will be more likely, once incarcerated, to engage in violent behavior and that this effect will be amplified by such incarceration experiences as disciplinary sanctions and gang involvement, as well as the lack of educational programming, religious programming, and family support. We test these hypotheses using unique data that include measures of the street code belief system and incarceration experiences. The results support the argument that the code of the street belief system affects inmate violence and that the effect is more pronounced among inmates who lack family support, experience disciplinary sanctions, and are gang involved. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Theory, research, and clinical reports suggest that moral cognitions play a role in initiating and sustaining criminal behavior. The 25 item Criminogenic Cognitions Scale (CCS) was designed to tap 5 dimensions: Notions of entitlement; Failure to Accept Responsibility; Short-Term Orientation; Insensitivity to Impact of Crime; and Negative Attitudes Toward Authority. Results from 552 jail inmates support the reliability, validity, and predictive utility of the measure. The CCS was linked to criminal justice system involvement, self-report measures of aggression, impulsivity, and lack of empathy. Additionally, the CCS was associated with violent criminal history, antisocial personality, and clinicians’ ratings of risk for future violence and psychopathy (PCL:SV). Furthermore, criminogenic thinking upon incarceration predicted subsequent official reports of inmate misconduct during incarceration. CCS scores varied somewhat by gender and race. Research and applied uses of CCS are discussed.
Parental incarceration can be devastating for families. Children may experience difficulties, and the stress on caregivers who take on unexpected childrearing is high. We implemented and evaluated a family-level intervention with caregivers and children experiencing parental (typically maternal) incarceration, in a community setting. We partnered with a community-based organization serving families with an incarcerated parent to conduct a pilot trial of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP). Process evaluation indicated high implementation fidelity, satisfaction, engagement, and attendance. Outcome evaluation results indicated positive changes in family-level functioning, caregivers’ positive parenting, and caregiver depression symptoms from pre- to post-intervention, with some changes retained at follow-up 4 months later. Implications for preventive interventions with children of incarcerated parents, and their caregivers, are discussed.
Under the Affordable Care Act, up to thirteen million adults have the opportunity to obtain health insurance through an expansion of the Medicaid program. A great deal of effort is currently being devoted to eligibility verification, outreach, and enrollment. We look beyond these important first-phase challenges to consider what people who are transitioning back to the community after incarceration need to receive effective care. It will be possible to deliver cost-effective, high-quality care to this population only if assistance is coordinated between the correctional facility and the community, and across diverse treatment and support organizations in the community. This article discusses several examples of successful coordination of care for formerly incarcerated people, such as Project Bridge and the Community Partnerships and Supportive Services for HIV-Infected People Leaving Jail (COMPASS) program in Rhode Island and the Transitions Clinic program that operates in ten US cities. To promote broader adoption of successful models, we offer four policy recommendations for overcoming barriers to integrating individuals into sustained, community-based care following their release from incarceration.
Provisions of the Affordable Care Act offer new opportunities to apply a public health and medical perspective to the complex relationship between involvement in the criminal justice system and the existence of fundamental health disparities. Incarceration can cause harm to individual and community health, but prisons and jails also hold enormous potential to play an active and beneficial role in the health care system and, ultimately, to improving health. Traditionally, incarcerated populations have been incorrectly viewed as isolated and self-contained communities with only peripheral importance to the public health at large. This misconception has resulted in missed opportunities to positively affect the health of both the individuals and the imprisoned community as a whole and potentially to mitigate risk behaviors that may contribute to incarceration. Both community and correctional health care professionals can capitalize on these opportunities by working together to advocate for the health of the criminal justice–involved population and their communities. We present a set of recommendations for the improvement of both correctional health care, such as improving systems of external oversight and quality management, and access to community-based care...
Umbilical herniation is common in patients with liver cirrhosis and ascites. Rarely, they suffer from incarceration and strangulation of the umbilical hernia after treatment of ascites. We report 3 cases of umbilical hernia incarceration following removal of massive ascites with different treatment modalities. Physicians managing this group of patients should be aware of this rare and potentially fatal complication.
Tube implants or glaucoma drainage devices have become an important method of intraocular pressure reduction when treating complex cases of traumatic glaucoma. However, it is not uncommon to have complications associated with tube implants. The optimal treatment of patients who have undergone glaucoma implant surgery complicated by vitreous incarceration is uncertain. If vitreous is present or is able to prolapse into anterior chamber, as in aphakic or pseudophakic patient without an intact posterior capsule, a concurrent anterior vitrectomy is usually performed. In such cases, pars plana vitrectomy has been found to be more effective in several studies. However, there are no set guidelines for management of such a case in a phakic eye and the management can be more challenging especially when there is no obvious deficiency in posterior capsule, zonular dialysis, or loose vitreous gel in the anterior chamber prior to or during tube implantation. We describe a case of 14-year-old phakic patient with traumatic glaucoma without vitreous gel in anterior chamber whose tube implant became occluded by vitreous resulting in increased intra ocular pressure. This is the first documented report of vitreous incarceration in a phakic patient and its successful management.
We conducted a population-based study of tuberculosis (TB) cases in Dourados, Brazil, to assess the relationship between incarceration and TB in the general population. Incarceration was associated with TB in an urban population; 54% of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains were related to strains from persons in prisons. TB control in prisons is critical for reducing disease prevalence.
This study describes HIV disease burden and patterns of drug use before and during incarceration among detainees in Re-education-Through-Labour-Camps (RTLCs) in China. A cross-sectional survey of 576 men and 179 women from three RTLCs was conducted in Guangxi Province, China. Over three-quarters of study participants were detained due to drug-related offences. Over half of the women (n = 313, 54.3%) and two-thirds of men (n = 119, 66.5%) had been previously been incarcerated in a compulsory detoxification treatment centre (CDTC), and around one-third (men n = 159, 27.6%; women n = 50, 27.9%) in a RTLC. Of those surveyed, 49 men (8.5%) and one (0.6%) woman reported ever using drugs while in a CDTC and/or RTLC. Previous incarceration in CDTCs and RTLCs were associated with HIV infection among both male (OR = 2.15 [1.11–4.15]) and female (OR = 3.87 [1.86–9.04]) detainees. Being married/cohabiting with a partner (OR = 0.53, [0.30–0.93]) and being employed (OR = 0.46, [0.22–0.95]) were associated with a reduced odds of HIV infection among male detainees. A significant proportion of RTLC detainees had a history of drug use and a limited number of inmates had used illegal substances whilst in custody. Repeat incarcerations in CDTCs/RTLCs were associated with higher risks of HIV infection.
Female sex workers (FSWs) and female prisoners experience elevated HIV prevalence relative to the general population because of unprotected sex and unsafe drug use practices, but the antecedents of these behaviors are often structural in nature. We review the literature on HIV risk environments for FSWs and female prisoners, highlighting similarities and differences in the physical, social, economic, and policy/legal environments that need to be understood to optimize HIV prevention, treatment, and policy responses. Sex work venues, mobility, gender norms, stigma, debt, and the laws and policies governing sex work are important influences in the HIV risk environment among FSWs, affecting their exposure to violence and ability to practice safer sex and safer drug use behaviors. Female prisoners are much more likely to have a drug problem than do male prisoners and have higher HIV prevalence, yet are much less likely to have access to HIV prevention and treatment and access to drug treatment in prison. Women who trade sex or are imprisoned and engage in substance use should not be considered in separate silos because sex workers have high rates of incarceration and many female prisoners have a history of sex work. Repeated cycles of arrest...
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been linked to early sexual debut, which has been found to be associated with multiple adverse health outcomes. Sexual minorities and men tend to have earlier sexual debut compared to heterosexual populations and women, respectively. However, studies examining the association between ACEs and early sexual debut among men and sexual minorities are lacking. The aim of this study was to examine the sex and sexual orientation disparities in the association between ACEs and age at sexual debut. Data were obtained from Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Logistic and linear regression model were used to obtain crude and adjusted estimates and 95% confidence intervals adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, income, education, insurance and marital status for the association between ACEs (neglect, physical/psychological abuse, sexual abuse, parental violence, and parental incarceration and psychopathology) and early sexual debut. Analyses were stratified by sex and sexual orientation. Larger effect estimates depicting the association between ACEs and sexual debut were seen for women compared to men, and among sexual minorities, particularly among men who have sex with men (MSM) and women who have sex with women (WSW)...