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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228774 Find in a Library
Title: Health Inequalities in Correctional Institutions: Implications for Health Inequalities in the Community
Journal: Journal of Correctional Health Care  Volume:15  Issue:4  Dated:October 2009  Pages:251-267
Author(s): Biko Agozino, Ph.D.; Stella Lucia Volpe, Ph.D.
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20014
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined health care inequalities between men and women, rich and poor, and White and minority prisoners.
Abstract: In this study, a meta-analysis of health inequalities was conducted, especially around issues of nutrition and exercise in correctional institutions compared to the community. Results show that despite all of its turmoil, the prison system does provide a safe haven for some people who indulge in high-risk behaviors. Prison provides shelter and food for some people who would not otherwise have these things. This does not by any means make a prison a good place, given other risks of infection and violence, but it does protect some people from their deprived or unhealthy lifestyles. The lack of connection with outside factors, such as illegal drugs and unhealthy diets, can be changed at least temporarily by the prison system. For pregnant women, prison does provide food and a relatively safe shelter during pregnancy. A pregnant woman would have access to visits from medical officials for the infant, whereas women outside may not be able to make those visits. Prison life can be stressful, but if a woman is at high risk, it may be better for the infant. Rather than an argument in favor of incarcerating pregnant women, this result is an argument for improving health care and lifestyles for pregnant women in the community. Other health issues and statistics are discussed, such as health issues of prisoners of war, obesity and chronic disease, diabetes among prisoners, and students and health disparities. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Inmate health; Inmate health care
Index Term(s): Effects of imprisonment; Healthcare; Offender-nonoffender comparisons
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