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Female Prisoners

Health issues of incarcerated women in the United States

Female prisoners suffer everyday, their main issue today is health issues. This research article is about many health issues that females go through when they are incarcerated. When I talk about health, I talk about sexual, mental, physical, substance abuse, pregnancy and prison birth, and other health services. Health care issues of women in jails and prisons in the United States generally have been ignored throughout history. These health issues do not seek attention, if they did, it would take days or weeks and it would not be worth the time of wait.

Researchers have recorded the lack of attention into data that shows there are fewer women than men in prison and, therefore, disproportionately fewer health resources allocated to women. The United States has had the highest rates of incarceration of women in the world since 2002. And the number of female prisoners increased ever since then. According to research, “The increase in the number of women imprisoned since the 1980s is associated with drug crimes and property crimes.” In the article, researchers state they have data based on a survey that was given to the female prisoners in 2004. Researchers gave a survey to 154 incarcerated women and the most common problems were dental (87 percent). 57 percent of female state inmates and 52 percent of federal female inmates reported that they had a medical problem at the time they were taking the survey. They reported that their most common health issues were arthritis, asthma, and hypertensions. These surveys are the most accurate because they are coming from the source.

The researchers found that many female prisoners are not getting the health attention they are supposed to be getting. Pregnancy is one big health issue that they have; reporters discovered that 25 percent of women in prison were pregnant or have recently had a baby. One reason why some females are mentally killed are because after they deliver the baby, they are taken away from them no matter what the setting. When women are also giving birth, they are handcuffed, which is not only stressful, but it's also painful because you have to use all your strength in your body to have your child. In prison, the mother is only given one day to recover then it's back to your jail cell, in pain physically and emotionally drained because you barely got to see your baby. Based on the surveys researchers gave the prisoners, the data tells us that mothers who had less contact with their children and felt they had less influence in their lives reported that they experienced greater emotional and physical distress.

I can use this research to understand what is said on the internet to what I’m hearing from the source in my jail letters. This article made me understand more of how the law works and what really goes on behind them prison doors. I honestly understand the law and how the punishment is supposed to be, but prison doesn’t go by law, and maybe if things were to go as it was supposed to go, things wouldn't be as bad as it is. Many things need to be changed. Females offenders should be placed in the least restrictive correctional environment. Health and social services need to be improved and should give female prisoners more space when they are in labor, not have them cuffed because that they are prisoners—they are still human and deserve rights. They also should increase their minimum wage because they only get 19 cents an hour and don’t work for that long, but have to buy things to get pads, slippers, and other things just to take care of themselves.

I needed to know how the data compares to the letters that I get from the prisoners, and their is no difference. It's 100 percent known that they don’t get the health needs that they are supposed to get because they are prisoners.

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