Women in jail should receive specialized medical and mental health treatment.

When Reuters conducted research surrounding the medical and mental health treatment of female detainees held in jails throughout the United States, they did so by analyzing data obtained from surveys conducted at 500 U.S. jails. The data documented revealed overall there were at least 914 deaths of female inmates in those facilities from 2008-2019. During a three year period from 2008-2010, 171 women died in jails that were surveyed, and from 2017-2019 that amount nearly doubled with 287 female inmates dying in jails during at that time. The latter number indicates a sharp increase in substance abuse related charges. Among those casualties, African American women make up nearly 24% of the 914 deaths reported. Jessica Stroop, Director and correctional consultant states "jails need to improve programs and facilities for female inmates". Stroup contends that "these women are showing up with needs, imminent needs, usually during a period of crisis and with trauma,” Stroup would know better than most as a majority of her career has was spent with the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics as an expert researcher specializing in female inmates. Stroup maintains that female detainees represent “ a massive strain on the jails.” (Reuters, 2020). To complicate matters even more, at least 639 of the female inmates were still awaiting trial and had not been convicted of any of their charges. The death toll is not inclusive of the infant mortality rate among female inmates who were pregnant at the time of their arrest. Another common area of concern is that female detainees are often unable to post bond, which inevitably leads to longer stays in custody. Simply put “jails need to have gender-responsive programs and staff and training and facilities,” Stroop said. Instead, “women often get treated as a bolt-on” in jails “designed for men.” At correct consultants our team of experts can design and implement a more comprehensive care and treatment plan for your female detainees. We also offer staff training to ensure that your staff fully understands the necessity of how important it is to monitor female detainees who may present with mental health or a pressing medical emergency. Call us today for a free consultation.

Source: Eisler, P., So, L., Szep, & Smith, G. (2020). As more women fill America's jails, medical tragedies mount. https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-jails-women/