Review of Healthcare Policies of Incarcerated Women in NCCHC Accredited Facilities

Kathy S. Deasy, F.A.C.O.G
Nancy A. Wonders, Northern Arizona University

ABSTRACT
The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) is a non-profit organization working to improve the quality of health care in our nation's jails, prisons and juvenile detention facilities. This organization provides accreditation of health services and quality assurance reviews. It is presumed that the accredited facilities housing female inmates will have policies and procedures providing a higher standard of both general and obstetric/gynecologic care than non-accredited facilities. Probably the most pressing health care needs of incarcerated women are obstetric and/or gynecologic. However, in spite of the fact the NCCHC is currently supported by thirty-five national organizations representing the fields of health, law, and corrections, there are no representatives from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) currently serving on the NCCHC board. In this paper I will be reviewing the women's healthcare policies and procedures for inmates in NCCHC accredited facilities. The NCCHC policies will be compared with the ACOG "Guidelines for Routine Assessment - Primary and Preventive Care." In addition, the CDC guidelines for routine voluntary HIV testing in increased behavioral risk populations will be considered. It is expected that concrete policy recommendations will be made with this review conducted from a feminist perspective.

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Updated 05/20/2006