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"Meeting the mental health needs of incarcerated women."


Abstract: Since 1980 the population of women inmates has increased by more than 200 percent (Gabel & Johnston, 1995). Women inmates currently account for nine percent of the entire prison population and of this group, 57 percent are women of color. The majority of women are arrested for nonviolent crimes. Typical offenses include fraud, use of illegal drugs, and prostitution (Singer, Bussey, Song, & Lunghofer, 1995). Many women inmates also contend with mental health issues. Despite the mental health problems facing the ever-increasing population of women inmates, only minimal research has been conducted regarding interventions developed and implemented by social workers with women in the prison system (Harris, 1993). This article describes a pilot study of a psychoeducational group conducted with women inmates and the effectiveness of this program.