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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91937 Find in a Library
Title: I Could Die Here
Corporate Author: Joint Venture
United States of America
Date Published: 1983
Sponsoring Agency: Joint Venture
Washington, DC 20009
Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
Santa Cruz Women's Prisoner Support Group
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Sale Source: Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

Santa Cruz Women's Prisoner Support Group
347 Plateau Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This is a slide-tape presentation on women's lives in U.S. jails and prisons, with special emphasis on health conditions.
Abstract: The narration points out that most female inmates of jails and prisons were charged for such violations as drunkenness, writing bad checks, disorderly conduct, and vagrancy. Among the cruelties of the institutional setting is being 'stripped of all identification of being a woman,' but inmates' most painful experience is separation from their children, whose foster placements may later cause the mother legal custody problems and charges of 'child neglect' during her imprisonment. Correctional rehabilitation programs do not meet the interests of the female inmates, offering menial, unskilled work under degrading conditions and low pay. Serious health problems may arise from prison routines such as body cavity searches, forced medication, denial of exercise or sunlight, poor diet, low quality health care, physical and mental abuse, and intentional neglect. If a woman is in good health upon incarceration, she will have a very hard time maintaining it inside the prison. However, most women (72 percent) coming into prison suffer health ailments common to people from lower socioeconomic and minority backgrounds. The most frequently observed problems are drug addiction, psychiatric illness, hypertension, and respiratory ailments. Inmates are completely dependent on the prison medical system, whose services are perfunctory and superficial, without followup care or accurate recordkeeping. Often, medical attention is denied if an inmate complains of an ailment without emergency symptoms. Immediate changes should be instituted to end forced pelvic exams and use of psychotropic drugs to restrain inmates. Institutions should guarantee access to quality medical care and sanitary living conditions.
Index Term(s): Children of incarcerated offenders; Female inmates; Inmate grievances; Medical and dental services
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Women's Prison Health Project. Audiocassette, running time 40 minutes. Rental is also available from sales source. Rental fee may be applied toward purchase.
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