Self-Care Management in Corrections: Perspectives From Persons With an Incarceration Experience

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The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions and beliefs of what self-care management looks like for a person with an incarceration experience. This is the first phase of a two-phase study. This qualitative study, held in three county jails in Massachusetts, utilized a focus group methodology. The Rediscovery of Self-Care: A Care Intervention for Persons with Incarceration Experience (RSC) model served as the framework for this study. On the basis of a priori constructs from the RSC model, a protocol was established and targeted questions outlined. The results from these focus groups support the constructs of the RSC model. Participants in all focus group interviews reported that self-care was very important and defined self-care, most of the time, in terms of meeting physical needs such as exercising and eating healthy and, more importantly, self-identified mental health and substance use needs such as individual or group counseling. In conclusion, open-ended questions used to identify all instances of potential categories of self-care management supported the central concepts of the RSC model and will inform treatment interventions and modification of an existing self-care management instrument or provide the foundation for the development of a new instrument.

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