Mental Health Issues of Incarcerated Women

  • Bonita M. Veysey


This chapter discusses the specific needs of women who are held in US jails. While many of the characteristics of these women are shared by women who are incarcerated in prison, the nature of the jail as a short-term facility that processes and must treat vast numbers of people with many acute medical, mental health, and addiction problems in a short period of time makes this setting a particularly difficult place to provide good treatment. This chapter begins with a discussion of the magnitude of the problem and the rates of mental illnesses of women in jail, followed by other common characteristics of women with mental illnesses in jail. Building upon the argument that experiences of severe interpersonal violence across the lifecourse are central to the emergence of many mental illnesses, health problems, and addictions, the chapter presents principles of trauma-informed care, followed by trauma-informed mental health treatment. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of trauma-informed mental health services in jail settings.


Mental Illness Sexual Abuse Mental Health Problem Substance Abuse Treatment Trauma Symptom 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonita M. Veysey
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

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