870 research outputs found

    Women, history, invisibility and prisons: a contribution to the Women’s History Month

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    Historical records evidence that the development of female prisons is closely related to the development of male prisons; however, denying a history of female prisoners in its own right fosters a stagnation in the discipline

    Violence and Silence: The Prison Rape Elimination Act and Beyond

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    Connecting the #MeToo movement to sexual abuse in prisons, this paper analyzes the flaws of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. Examining the genesis behind PREA, the lack of enforcement and accountability, and the remaining unresolved issues, I argue that the law fails to meaningfully combat the pervasive and multifaceted problem of sexual abuse in US prisons. The racist, sexist, and homophobic ideologies that gave rise to PREA, as well as its focus on prison efficiency rather than prisoners’ lives, only serve to further entrench harmful biases within United States prisons and broader society

    Lowering the Bar Behind Bars: \u3cem\u3eChao v. Ballista\u3c/em\u3e and Prison Official Liability in All-Female Prisons

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    On March 25, 2011, in Chao v. Ballista, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied defendant prison officials’ motion for summary judgment on an inmate’s Eighth Amendment claims of sexual misconduct, and a jury held a prison superintendent liable for failure to protect the inmate from a prison guard’s sexual abuse. Although the district court drew thoughtful attention to the unique vulnerabilities of female inmates, the court implicitly expanded the Supreme Court’s Farmer v. Brennan standard for deliberate indifference in failure to protect claims, potentially lowering the bar for establishing Eighth Amendment violations by prison officials in all-female facilities

    Babies Behind Bars: An Evaluation of Prison Nurseries in American Female Prisons and Their Potential Constitutional Challenges

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    This note opens the prison doors and delves into the United States female prison system, primarily focusing on the positive and negative impact of nursery programs on mothers and children, along with potential constitutional claims that can be brought against these programs. Part I provides a general background about the American prison system, and briefly touches on the constitutional standards of prisoners’ rights. It also discusses the history and development of female prisons and illustrates the rapid increase of female incarceration. Part II focuses on the prevalence of mothers within the female population in prisons. Part III introduces prison nursery programs and explains their history and how they operate. Part IV discusses the positive impact prison nurseries have had on both mothers and children. Part V touches on a few negative effects and the limitations of these programs. Finally, Part VI raises three potential constitutional challenges that can be raised against prison nurseries: two arguments based on the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause and one argument based on the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause. As this note will conclude, there should be an increase in the implementation of prison nursery programs in American prisons, as the value of these programs greatly outweighs their limitations. Moreover, potential constitutional attacks on these programs should not be discouraging, as they are unlikely to prevail

    Constitutional Rights of Infants and Toddlers to Have Opportunities to Form Secure Attachment with Incarcerated Mothers: Importance of Prison Nurseries

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    While the number of women is increasing among the prison population, so too is the need to accommodate those who are pregnant and with children. Instead of examining the diminished rights of incarcerated mothers, this paper examines the rights of babies (infants and toddlers) to have opportunities to form a secure attachment with their incarcerated mother. This paper argues this right triggers the government’s affirmative duty to provide prison nurseries. This paper also seeks several aims that include an examination of the issue of prison nurseries, the need for such programs, their history, the constitutional rights of infants and toddlers to have opportunities to form secure attachment with their long-term caregiver, and the policy implications for women or female prisons

    Spiritual care of women in South African prisons : historical development and current situation

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    Peer reviewedThis article provides a short history of female imprisonment and the role that religion and spiritual care have played and may play in the lives of female prisoners in the South African context. This is illustrated by reflecting briefly on the role of religion in Sister Bernard Ncube’s life during her detention as a political activist. The article also reflects on the current situation in female prisons and the transformation that is taking place, in that women are now being allowed to act as spiritual caregivers. Information provided by the Department of Correctional Services on spiritual care for women is analysed and further illustrated by means of facts gleaned from research undertaken in female prisons by the author. The role that spiritual care plays in the rehabilitation of female offenders is also discussed.Research Institute for Theology and Religio

    An Assessment of Female Prisoners’ Perception of the Accessibility of Quality Healthcare: A Survey in the Kumasi Central Prisons, Ghana

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    Background: Accessibility of quality healthcare across the globe has generated a lot of attention among public health practitioners.Aim: This study explored the background characteristics of female  prisoners and how it influences their assessment of the quality of  accessible healthcare in the Kumasi Female Prison. Subjects and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional survey was  conducted at the Female section of the Kumasi Central Prisons from June to December 2011. We used pretested questionnaires to obtain   quantitative data from all 39 inmates of the female Prisons. An in-depth interview was used to obtain qualitative data from the prison healthcare giver. Data were analyzed with Epi Info Version 3.5.1, (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Excel, and Graph Pad Prism version 5.00 for Windows (Graph Pad software, San Diego California USA,   www.graphpad.com). Results: Using a 12.point scale inventory questionnaire, inmates with no formal education gave the highest mean health provision assessment score (6.0) whereas those with tertiary education gave the lowest (4.5). Females serving prison sentences gave the highest mean health  assessment score whereas remand prisoners gave the lowest. Single femalesf mean health assessment score was 5.7 whereas that of married inmates was 4.9. Unemployed inmates scored 5.8, informal 5.4 while civil servants scored 5.0.Conclusion: Access to quality healthcare was poor and demographic characteristics, marital status, educational background, and occupation influenced inmatesf perceptions of accessibility to quality healthcare. Inmates should be encouraged to be proactive in seeking healthcare irrespective of their background characteristics.Keywords: Accessibility, Female, Kumasi, Perception Prisons, Quality of health car

    Health and healthcare access among Zambia's female prisoners: a health systems analysis.

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    BackgroundResearch exploring the drivers of health outcomes of women who are in prison in low- and middle-income settings is largely absent. This study aimed to identify and examine the interaction between structural, organisational and relational factors influencing Zambian women prisoners' health and healthcare access.MethodsWe conducted in-depth interviews of 23 female prisoners across four prisons, as well as 21 prison officers and health care workers. The prisoners were selected in a multi-stage sampling design with a purposive selection of prisons followed by a random sampling of cells and of female inmates within cells. Largely inductive thematic analysis was guided by the concepts of dynamic interaction and emergent behaviour, drawn from the theory of complex adaptive systems.ResultsWe identified compounding and generally negative effects on health and access to healthcare from three factors: i) systemic health resource shortfalls, ii) an implicit prioritization of male prisoners' health needs, and iii) chronic and unchecked patterns of both officer- and inmate-led victimisation. Specifically, women's access to health services was shaped by the interactions between lack of in-house clinics, privileged male prisoner access to limited transport options, and weak responsiveness by female officers to prisoner requests for healthcare. Further intensifying these interactions were prisoners' differential wealth and access to family support, and appointments of senior 'special stage' prisoners which enabled chronic victimisation of less wealthy or less powerful individuals.ConclusionsThis systems-oriented analysis revealed how Zambian women's prisoners' health and access to healthcare is influenced by weak resourcing for prisoner health, administrative biases, and a prevailing organisational and inmate culture. Findings highlight the urgent need for investment in structural improvements in health service availability but also interventions to reform the organisational culture which shapes officers' understanding and responsiveness to women prisoners' health needs
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