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NCJ Number: 218418 Find in a Library
Title: Cultural Context of Women Prisoners' Mental Health: A Comparison of Two Prison Systems
Journal: Punishment & Society  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:April 2007  Pages:115-150
Author(s): Candace Kruttschnitt; Mike Vuolo
Date Published: April 2007
Page Count: 36
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article compared the experiences of self-harm and suicide ideation of 2,911 female inmates residing in 2 prisons in California and 3 prisons in England.
Abstract: Results indicated significant similarities in the factors predicting self-harm and suicide ideation among female inmates housed in very different types of prisons and political regions. The key risk factors for both self-harm and suicide ideation in both California and England were youthfulness, prior self-harm, and current or prior mental health problems. The findings also revealed that particular prison regimes exerted a significant impact on mental health among inmates. One important finding was the link between women prisoners’ perceived closeness to correctional officers and staff and their risks of self-harm and suicide ideation. Feelings of closeness to correctional staff actually increased a woman’s risk of self-harm and suicide ideation, but only in England. Other findings indicate that in England only, those women with prior commitments have reduced odds of suicide ideation, possibly because they know how to handle prison life and have a network of friends within the prison. The findings suggest that different types of penal regimes have an impact on prisoner life and, as such, postmodern penal policies should be studied from the lived realities of inmates rather than from within the confines of rhetorical packages. The research involved interviews with 2,911 female inmates from 2 prisons in California and 3 prisons in England. The interviews focused on inmates self-reports regarding self-harm behaviors, suicide ideation, and coping and adjustment to prison life. Researchers relied on ANOVA and logistic regression analyses to compare responses of female inmates in California and England. Future research is necessary to understand how penal policy impacts the well-being of prisoners. Tables, figures, appendix, notes, references
Main Term(s): Female inmates; Mental health
Index Term(s): California; Comparative analysis; Corrections policies; England
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