It is no secret that
women face different healthcare challenges then their male counterparts, often
time female correctional institutions have the exact same medical model as male
facilities which has led to come displeasure amongst the female prison
population. In a survey conducted by Harner and Riley (2013), a better
understanding of inmate’s perceptions of how being incarcerated affected their
physical health is explored. Researchers asked the inmates one question: how
has being incarcerated effected affected your mental and physical health. The
method used in this study was survey given in the dayroom of a a maximum-security
women’s prison using volunteer participants. The sample consisted of 65 women,
majority were white (62 percent) ranging from ages 23-46. Participants were
given open ended questions to encourage the ladies to elaborate more on their
thought and feelings. Results found that women shared majority of negative
physical health due to the lack of partial physical activities, nutrition’s and
first hand/second hand smoking in prison. Inmates went on to describe stories
of how often they must beg to receive medical attention because the
correctional staff think they are just crying wolf. Furthermore, many women
complained about co-payments being too burdensome especially since they aren’t
paid enough to cover the cost for prescriptions. Authors noted several
limitations in their study, since the participants weren’t a random sample and
were volunteers, researchers believe that women with negative health related
experiences had a greater chance of participating in the survey. Also, since
the study consisted of primarily self-reports there is no way to validate these
encounters. Lastly, authors note that some inmates come have been so physically
ill that they were unable to contribute to this study.  

Morgan, K. D. (2013).
Issues in Female Inmate Health: Results from a Southeastern State.   Women & Criminal Justice, 23(2),
121-142.

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When conceptualizing the perception
of female inmates’ attitudes toward healthcare in facilities they are house
versus healthcare they received outside of prison. Morgan (2013) continued
research on this subject by surveying a southwestern prison. Morgan asked three
research questions: (1) Is there a correlation between inmates’ preexisting
conditions and treatment prior to prison and their overall satisfaction with
treatment and prison and health care services. (2) is there a connection
between the use of prison services and satisfaction with those services. (3)
what
was female inmates’ perceptions of medical services and the care that they
received. Data was collected for this survey through a self-report
questionnaire given to newly released inmates from Alabama Department of
Corrections who were being housed in a reentry program. The sample size
consisted of 106 females, Majority (75%) were white, and the other 25 percent
were black. The average age of participants was 32 and almost half were
employed and divorced. The dependent variable for this survey was the
participants response to their overall satisfaction with healthcare services,
whereas the independent variables consisted of various measures: preexisting
mental and physical health, demographics, physical health diagnoses and other
issues related to treatment. Further, participants showed dissatisfaction with
medical services that they received while imprisoned. According to the results,
over half (58%) reported that the treatment received was inadequate in relation
to issues like understaffing, the inability to access medical services, and the
use of policies that put inmates at risk for underprivileged health consequences.
On the other hand, 44 percent reported that the treatment was adequate to their
standards. Morgan noted one limitations in the information, the data was
collected in one state prison institution, so it may not be generalizable to
other state institutions.