The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5137.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 12:50 PM

Abstract #70965

Family planning for women leaving prison

Jennifer Clarke, MD1, Cynthia Rosengard, PhD2, Maureen Phipps, MD3, Megan R. Hebert, MA4, Kristen M. DaSilva4, and Michael D Stein, MD5. (1) Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital/ Brown University, 593 Eddy street, MPB, Providence, RI 02903, 401 444 6098,, (2) Department of Medicine, Brown University School of Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, DGIM, MPB-1, 593 Eddy St., Providence, RI 02903, (3) Obstetric & Gynecology, Brown University School of Medicine, 101 Dudley St., Women & Infants Hospital, Providence, RI 02905, (4) Division of General Internal Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, 593 Eddy Street, MPB-1, Providence, RI 02903, (5) Division of General Internal Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University, 593 Dudley Street, MPB-1, Providence, RI 02903

Objective: To assess the determinants of interest in initiating a birth control method (BCM) among women entering jail. Methods: Study participants were recruited from the women´s division of the RI Department of Corrections. Trained interviewers administered a 45-minute questionnaire obtaining information about conception plans, substance abuse and demographic information and were referred for free GYN care post release. Results: Between 5/29/02 and 1/1/03 there were 1344 incarcerations of 1118 women. 451 (40%) were unable to be contacted secondary to their short length of stay (<48 hours). Of the remaining 667 women, 201 (30%) were excluded and 266 (39.9%) declined study participation. The mean age of participants was 26; median education was 11th grade; 63% were White, 17% Black, and 18% non-White Hispanic. Only 35% reported using a reliable method of birth control at the time of incarceration; 27%used a condom at last sexual intercourse; 51% reported history of a sexually-transmitted disease;and 55% wanted to start a BCM after release. Desire to start BCM was associated with a high school education, using BCM consistently in past three months and reporting being very upset if they became pregnant. Age, drug use and religion were not associated with wanting to start a BCM. Conclusions: Many women in jail report a desire to start a BCM. Given the high rates of recidivism and the rapid turnover in jail populations providing reproductive health services both in and out of jail could reduce the number of high risk unplanned pregnancies as well as aide in a woman’s rehabilitation.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Criminal Justice, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Health of Incarcerated Women

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA