Health Status and Service Use among Incarcerated Women

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Medical records for 129 women incarcerated in a state prison were reviewed to assess the extent and nature of health needs and service use, both at the time of entrance to prison and during four months of incarceration. Descriptive analyses reveal that health needs and service use are extensive with a mean number of 12.7 service encounters in four months. Sixty percent of the sample indicate they had at least one significant medical problem at time of prison admission. Implications for health services and program planning for incarcerated women are explored, with an emphasis on targeting limited resources.

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