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Evidence-based recommendations to improve reproductive healthcare for incarcerated women

Andrea Knittel (University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA)
Angeline Ti (University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA)
Sarah Schear (School of Public Health, UC Berkeley – UC San Francisco Joint Medical Program, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA)
Megan Comfort (RTI International, San Francisco, California, USA)

International Journal of Prisoner Health

ISSN: 1744-9200

Article publication date: 11 September 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe standards for evidence-based reproductive healthcare for incarcerated women.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature on reproductive healthcare in the US criminal justice system and recommendations from professional organizations were reviewed and critical areas of concern were identified. Within these areas, studies and expert opinion were synthesized and policy recommendations were formulated through an iterative process of group discussion and document revision. This brief specifically addresses women’s incarceration in the USA, but the recommendations are grounded in a human rights framework with global relevance.

Findings

Women who are incarcerated have health needs that are distinct from those of men, and there is a clear need for gender-responsive reproductive healthcare within the criminal justice system. This brief identifies five core domains of reproductive healthcare: routine screening, menstruation-related concerns, prenatal and postpartum care, contraception and abortion, and sexually transmitted infections. The recommendations emphasize the continuity between the criminal justice system and the community, as well as the dignity and self-determination of incarcerated women.

Originality/value

This brief provides a unique synthesis of the available evidence with concrete recommendations for improving the reproductive healthcare for incarcerated women.

Keywords

Citation

Knittel, A., Ti, A., Schear, S. and Comfort, M. (2017), "Evidence-based recommendations to improve reproductive healthcare for incarcerated women", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 13 No. 3/4, pp. 200-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-07-2016-0031

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited