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Health and Justice

, 3:8

First Online: 28 April 2015Received: 30 December 2014Accepted: 19 March 2015DOI: 10.1186-s40352-015-0019-1

Cite this article as: Sutherland, G., Carroll, M., Lennox, N. et al. Health Justice 2015 3: 8. doi:10.1186-s40352-015-0019-1


BackgroundDespite the high rates of unintended and complicated pregnancy among women who have spent time in prison, little is known about their use of prescribed contraceptives post-prison release. We used a routinely-collected medicine utilisation dataset linked to a longitudinal cohort of adults released from prison to describe the dispensing of contraceptive medication.

FindingsThe socio-demographic profiles of women in the cohort were characteristic of justice-involved populations: they were young, poorly educated, unemployed prior to incarceration, with a very high proportion identifying as Indigenous. Dispensing claims data showed that in the six months 180 days after release from prison contraceptive medication had been dispensed to only 19 women 7.6%.

ConclusionOur findings raise important questions about the reproductive health needs of women in prison and after their release. This requires urgent research and policy attention with a particular focus on the potential benefits of attending to women’s sexual and reproductive health care needs in prison in preparation for return to the community.

KeywordsContraception Women Prisoners Post-release Record linkage  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Georgina Sutherland - Megan Carroll - Nick Lennox - Stuart Kinner


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