ABSTRACT: Incarcerated women report high rates of prior unintended pregnancies as well as low contraceptive use. Because jail could be a site of contraception care, this study aimed to assess women's access to contraception prior to their arrest. A cross-sectional survey was administered to 228 reproductive-aged, nonpregnant women arrested in San Francisco. Twenty-one percent were currently using contraception. More than half (61%) had not used contraception in the last year, yet 11% wanted to have used it. Women in this latter subset reported greater difficulty with payment, finding a clinic, and transportation compared to women who had used contraception. In addition, 60% of all women in the sample would accept contraception if offered to them in jail. Thus, jail is a potentially important and acceptable point of access to contraception, which can circumvent some preincarceration logistical barriers.
Journal of Correctional Health Care 03/2012; 18(2):111-9.