Improving Health Equity for Women Involved in the Criminal Legal System
Women s Health Issues
Oct 19, 2020

Women’s Health Issues reports the following, “More than 1,000,000 women in the U.S. are currently under supervision of the criminal legal system (CLS). Since 1980, the number of women in prison has increased by over 800%. Social determinants of health and CLS involvement include aspects of the social environment, such as discrimination and income, the physical environment, and health services. CLS involvement increases risk of physical and sexual violence, with direct or indirect health and health care effects, which impact families and communities. These risks are consequences of pre-incarceration factors, including poverty, structural racism, and inadequate health care access; limited jail and prison health care; and the health impacts of carceral systems themselves. Furthermore, parenting and reproduction, health care needs as they age, and reentry challenges of WICLS are underrepresented in current policy, research, and clinical contexts. We delineate reproductive health and motherhood, aging in prison, and reentry as critical areas exemplifying women’s complex health related needs, which may be best addressed via gender-responsive and trauma-informed care. Bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation, which includes improving the health of WICLS, is gaining support. As a public health community committed to advancing equity, we must evaluate and support legal and legislative reform that seeks to improve health care quality and access for this often overlooked population.”


Read Full Report Here

Get the newsletter