Tawandra L Rowell

Columbia University, New York City, NY, United States

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Publications (3)6.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Black men currently comprise a substantial percentage of prisoners in the United States. Drug dependence is common among prison populations, and US prisons are high-risk environments for drug use. Prison drug use exacerbates health problems disproportionately prevalent among Black men and prisoners. Objectives: The goal of this research was to examine predictors of prison drug use among incarcerated Black men. Methods: This study examined drug use within the prison environment in a random sample of 134 Black men incarcerated in maximum-security correctional institution. The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) was used to measure illicit drug use history and the extent to which drug use occurred within the prison environment. Results: Seventy-five percent of the participants reported a history of illicit drug use. Overall, 20% (n 25) of the participants, or 25% of those with a history of drug use, reported using drugs during a time frame consistent with incarceration. Participants with lengthier histories of drug use (OR: 1.1, 95% CI 1.0-1.2) and those who were incarcerated longer (OR: 1.1, 95% CI 1.0-1.2) were more likely to use drugs in prison. Drug use in prison was associated with history of injection drug use and with probation/parole status when arrested. Conclusions: Prisoners are engaging in illicit drug use while incarcerated, suggesting that they could benefit from harm reduction and drug treatment services offered during incarceration. Scientific significance: Drug treatment programs that address long-standing addictions and coping mechanisms for lengthy prison stays, specifically, would be especially useful for this population.
    The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 07/2012; 38(6):593-7. · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The high levels of health and psychosocial needs among correctional populations strongly shape the well-being of the urban communities from which a large number of criminal justice-involved individuals come or to which they return. The benefits of providing services to correction-involved individuals and linking them to providers such as with alternative to incarceration (ATI) programs may be limited if they encounter difficulties accessing such services. This study identified the types of barriers that have prevented entrants into ATI programs from receiving health and psychosocial services. We then tested the association between number of prior incarcerations and number of barriers by gender. From a random sample of adults (Nā€‰=ā€‰322; 83 women and 239 men) entering ATI programs in New York City, data were collected via structured interviews that elicited self-reported sociodemographics, substance use, prior incarcerations, and barriers that had actually prevented a participant from visiting or returning to a service provider. Participants reported an average of 3.0 barriers that have prevented them from receiving health and psychosocial services. The most prevalent barriers predominantly concerned service providers' inability to accommodate constraints on participants' time availability or flexibility, transportation, and money. Compared to women, men had a significantly different association that was in the adverse direction--i.e., more prior incarcerations was associated with more barriers--between prior incarcerations and encountering service barriers. Findings indicate that ATI program entrants experience many barriers that have prevented them from receiving health and/or psychosocial services. Furthermore, men with more extensive incarceration histories particularly are disadvantaged. ATI programs can improve the public health of urban communities if such programs are prepared and resourced to facilitate the receipt of services among program participants, especially men who have more extensive incarceration histories.
    Journal of Urban Health 03/2012; 89(2):384-95. · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    Tawandra L Rowell, Jeffrey Draine, Elwin Wu
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 01/2011; 62(1):103-4. · 2.81 Impact Factor