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Davidson County Jail for Females: A Modern-Day Crisis Center

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 70 Issue: 3 Dated: June 2008 Pages: 54-56,73
Kristy Kummerow; Ruby Joyner
Date Published
June 2008
4 pages
After identifying and analyzing the problems of female inmates related to their risky sexual behavior, this article describes how the Correctional Development Center--Female (CDF) in Nashville, TN, is attempting to address these issues.
Particular challenges to CDF's correctional health providers are inmate gynecological and obstetrical health issues. Women admitted to CDF have had a high rate of unprotected sex that places them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), especially HIV/AIDS, and unplanned pregnancies that pose significant risks for both the unborn child and the mother, especially when the mother is a substance-abuser. At the core of these risky sexual behaviors and the adverse consequences that may result is the failure to use contraception. The most common reasons women engage in unprotected sex are a lack of education about the importance of condom use in order to prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancies; being high on drugs prior to and during sex; and mental illness that impairs rational decisionmaking about their sexual behavior. In an effort to address these issues, the CDF offers general medical and mental health treatment along with rehabilitation for substance abusers; the facilitation of services to inmates by community-based service providers; and education about STDs, pregnancy, and contraception. In developing and maintaining these programs, the CDF is dependent on outside agencies, policymakers, and the general public in bridging the many gaps in resources and services necessary to ensure that women who leave CDF to reenter the community are better able to manage their behaviors and avoid future crises. 13 notes