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Women’s Needs After Release from Prison to a Rural Community Introduction

This article focused on women being released from prison and not having the tools that are necessary for a good life once released available to them. It first talks about what the life of these women looks like before they are incarcerated. Most inmates had health issues such as STDs, Tuberculosis, and other chronic diseases. Once released there are some states that don’t allow them to qualify for medicaid because of a convicted felony relating to drugs. This puts them at risk for health complications because of lack of treatment and risks not getting treated and instead being spread among other people they come in contact with. Health care isn’t seen as a universal right so even though it’s not fair these women aren’t allowed health assistance it isn’t seen as unconstitutional. A lot of the women also struggled financially which doesn’t help when they go to prison and get released and can’t qualify for cash assistance or food stamps. Singer et al decided to do a study where he asked women what he thought they would need once released from prison. The common themes were housing, drug counseling, mental health counseling, financial aid, alcohol counseling, education, medical care, family support, and help getting children back. Providing these needs helps set them up for a better future and hopefully lower recidivism rates. If they don’t struggle and aren’t constantly in survival mode then they are going to be able to make better decisions.

 

To be in the study they picked women who were going to be released during the year time frame the study was happening. The women weren’t given any incentives and were informed of everything that was going to happen during the study. The goal of not providing an incentive was probably to get the raw reaction from these women, they weren’t being bribed to do it and instead would talk because they wanted to be heard. They were asked what their major concerns were when released from prison and had them do a checklist of what programs would benefit them the most when released. The common theme with these women is that most of them felt like they were going to need support whether that be financially or mentally. These women have been in jail where they have nothing and may not have had the best life before going in and now are just being released and expected to be high functioning citizens in society or the other option of not being able to do that and go back to jail.

 

Questions:

 

-Society doesn’t see prisoners as a good population and isn’t super willing to help but if we had better access to needed resources upon release that would help lower recidivism rates so why are we not investing more?

 

-This country is supposed to be equal for all so why do convicted felons not get access to government funded programs that are meant for EVERYONE?

 

-It only mentioned drug charges as being something that would deny access to government assisted programming is that the only felony that doesn’t allow help?

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