Online Program

History of Incarceration and Mental Health Outcomes: Findings from the Los Angeles County Health Survey (LACHS)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jerome Blake, MPH, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology, Los Angeles, CA
Susie Baldwin, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
background: To assess prevalence of mental health outcomes among Los Angeles County adult residents based on self-reported History of Incarceration (HOI) and gender.

methods: Data were analyzed from the 2011 LACHS (n=8,036), a random-digit-dial phone survey. Descriptive analyses were conducted to assess the association between HOI, gender and four mental health outcomes: ever diagnosed with depressive or anxiety/stress/phobia disorder (DASP), current depressive or anxiety/stress/phobia disorder (current DASP), risk for major depressive episode (PHQ2), and frequent mental distress (FMD). Logistic regression analysis will assess if HOI is independently associated with these mental health outcomes when controlling for gender, income, education, and other socio-demographic variables, along with time spent incarcerated and time since incarceration.

findings: Adults with HOI face greater mental health challenges. Significant disparities in prevalence were found for mental health outcomes based on HOI: DASP (27.4% [95%CI = 20.8-34.0] with HOI, versus 17.1% [95%CI = 15.9-18.2] No HOI); Current DASP (18.1% [95%CI = 12.6-23.5] with HOI, versus 10.3% [95%CI = 9.5-11.2] No HOI); PHQ2 (20.2% [95%CI = 14.1-26.4] with HOI, versus 9.9% [95%CI = 8.9-10.8] No HOI); and FMD (22.5% [95%CI = 16.2-28.7] with HOI, versus 9.2% [95%CI = 8.3-10.0] No HOI). Gender stratification reveals that women, while incarcerated in smaller numbers, report significantly higher prevalence of mental health issues based on HOI.

implications: Though causation cannot be established, there is an association between self-reported History of Incarceration, gender, and prevalence of mental health outcomes. Reintegration policies should incorporate mental health screening and necessary mental health resources to those formerly incarcerated.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assess whether there is a significant difference in prevalence of mental health outcomes among Los Angeles County adults based on self-reported history if incarceration

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over seven years of experience in the field of public health surveillance. I serve the residents of Los Angeles County through the Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology, and work with the Los Angeles County Health Survey. My role is to ensure the availability of high-quality and comprehensive health data about the Los Angeles County population, and to facilitate its use for public health assessment, policy development, and program planning and evaluation.
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.