Gender-Appropriate Mental Health Services for Incarcerated Women: Issues and Challenges

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Abstract

The rapid increase in the number of incarcerated women, the growing recognition of the limitations of male-oriented prison services in the rehabilitation of women, and the associated demands for reform that address the multiple issues of parity for women in prisons have led to an increase in the types of programming and services offered within women's prisons. These complexities are explored through an historic view, current research, contemporary models of female psychological development, and a discussion of the development of a gender-specific, comprehensive mental health program in a 600-bed state prison for women. In so doing, the authors raise questions about how to plan gender-specific mental health programming for incarcerated women that addresses women's needs without reifying gender stereotypes.

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