Coming Home From Jail: The Social and Health Consequences of Community Reentry for Women, Male Adolescents, and Their Families and Communities

Urban Public Health, Hunter College, City University of New York, 425 E 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 11/2005; 95(10):1725-36. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.056325
Source: PubMed


Each year, more than 10 million people enter US jails, most returning home within a few weeks. Because jails concentrate people with infectious and chronic diseases, substance abuse, and mental health problems, and reentry policies often exacerbate these problems, the experiences of people leaving jail may contribute to health inequities in the low-income communities to which they return. Our study of the experiences in the year after release of 491 adolescent males and 476 adult women returning home from New York City jails shows that both populations have low employment rates and incomes and high rearrest rates. Few received services in jail. However, overall drug use and illegal activity declined significantly in the year after release. Postrelease employment and health insurance were associated with lower rearrest rates and drug use. Public policies on employment, drug treatment, housing, and health care often blocked successful reentry into society from jail, suggesting the need for new policies that support successful reentry into society.

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Available from: Nicholas Freudenberg, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "At least two recent studies in the United States have investigated the link between recidivism and other health and social factors (Freudenberg et al. 2005; Fu et al. 2013). In a study of adult women and adolescent males, Freudenberg et al. (2005) found that having health insurance after release greatly reduced the odds of re-arrest up to 15 months later. For males, employment post-release reduced the risk of re-arrest, and for females, homelessness increased this risk. "
    12/2015; 3(1). DOI:10.1186/s40352-015-0022-6
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    • "Regarding the sentence imposed for first felony arrest, results in Table 2 indicate that, consistent with previous literature addressing the disparities in treatment and rehabilitation among black female offenders (Mann, 1995; Sims and Jones, 1997), African American women had fewer behavioral conditions imposed including drug and alcohol treatment and mental health counseling treatment when compared to European-American women (53.3% and 35.3%, respectively). Among those women receiving alcohol/drug treatment and mental health counseling treatment after their arrest, larger percentages of African American women were unsuccessful with treatment compared to European American women (72.7% and 88.9%, respectively), indicating a greater risk of repeat offending among these women, many of whom are subjected to the harsh realities of poverty, racism, and sexism (Arditti and Few, 2008; Olphen et al., 2009; White, 2010; Imber-Black, 2008; Freudenberg et al., 2005; Richie, 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper discusses racial differences in risk factors and behavioral conditions among 200 women placed on probation between 2011 and 2013. Emphasis is placed on the factors that place these women at a greater risk of recidivism including prior drug abuse, socioeconomic status (employment), and previous felony convictions. Disparities in treatment measures among women on probation, particularly women of color, such as alcohol/drug treatment and mental health counseling treatment are also discussed.
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    • "The possibility that access may also be challenged by women with a history of abuse, who may actively avoid ongoing reproductive health care, must also be considered. It should be noted that financial constraints, which we found to be part of the women’s narrative in describing their choice for sterilization, may be unique to vulnerable groups, such as women with criminal justice histories who often have limited earning potential and financial resources [4, 5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite the high rates of reported sterilization use among women who have spent time in correctional facilities, little is known about the context in which women in this population choose this option. The objective of our study was to use both quantitative and qualitative methods to understand factors associated with sterilization use among women leaving a U.S. jail. Methods We administered a cross-sectional survey with 102 jailed women who were participating in a study about contraceptive use after release from jail, and then conducted semi-structured interviews with 29 of those women after their release from jail. We used logistic regression and analytic induction to assess factors associated with self-reported sterilization use. Results In our cross-sectional survey, one-third of our sample reported a history of sterilization use. Controlling for age and past pregnancies, the only factor associated with sterilization use was physical abuse history before age 16. In semi-structured interviews, we found that women’s primary motivation for sterilization was the desire to limit childbearing permanently, in some cases where other contraceptive methods had failed them. The decision for sterilization was generally supported by family, partners, and providers. Many women who opted for sterilization expressed financial concern about supporting children and/or reported family histories of sterilization. Conclusions The decision to use the permanent method of sterilization as a contraceptive method is a complex one. Results from this study suggest that while explicit coercion may not be a factor in women’s choice for sterilization, interpersonal relationship histories, negative experiences with contraceptives, and structural constraints, such as financial concerns and ongoing criminal justice involvement, seem to influence sterilization use among the vulnerable group of women with criminal justice histories. Public health programs that connect women to reproductive health services should acknowledge constraints on contraceptive decision-making in vulnerable populations.
    BMC Public Health 07/2014; 14(1):773. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-773 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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