179065 Evaluation of the Riverside Prison Project, A Sexuality Education Program for Women & Teens Developed by Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania (PPSP)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 1:30 PM

Augusta M. Villanueva, PhD , School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Karen Fitchette-Gordon, MSA , Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Camille E. Edwards, BSW MPH , Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Background: This evaluation focused on methods used and outcomes derived from a 12-month pilot of a six-week sexuality education curriculum including reproductive anatomy, STI and HIV prevention, self-esteem, and life-skills for women and girls between 20-35 years of age housed at Riverside Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2007-08. More than half of the facility's population served by PPSP are HIV+, and suffer disproportionately from Hepatitis B, unplanned pregnancy, substance abuse, and intimate-partner violence. The rate of abnormal Pap smears among this population is more than twice that reported among all PPSP patients. African Americans comprise 76% of this population, while 19% are Caucasian, and 5% Hispanic. Purpose: In addition to providing one-on-one social services and support, the program aims to: enhance participants' knowledge of reproductive anatomy, HIV prevention, and negotiation skills; and increase access to and utilization of behavioral health services. Methods: Classes of at least 90 minutes delivered through small-group format were limited to 20 participants. One teen and two adult courses were offered at any one time, followed by a month-long break preceding initiation of a new course. Each course and month-long break constituted one-cycle for a total of five. Pre- and post-test course assessments at their initiation and conclusion appraised knowledge attainment. Results: 125 women and teenage girls participated, while 70 received one-on-one support and gained access to community-based social services. Discussion: Participants measurably improved their knowledge of reproductive anatomy, HIV prevention, and negotiation skills; and increased their ability by accessing and utilizing behavioral health services.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the rationale for integrating public health and the modern human rights framework within the context of the health and well-being of incarcerated populations; 2. Understand the importance of integrating content knowledge (reproductive anatomy; HIV prevention) with negotiation skills, self-esteem, & self empowerment when delivering sexuality education to populations who are disproportionately served; and 3. Enhance the awareness of providers working with disproportionately served populations regarding the added benefits that may be derived from facilitating access to and utilization of behavioral health services.

Keywords: Jails and Prisons, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Serving as evaluator for project about which I am presenting
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.