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The health of female prisoners in Indonesia

The health of female prisoners in Indonesia Purpose – Indonesian law provides prisoners with basic rights, including access to education, health care and nutrition. Yet, structural and institutional limitations, notably overcrowding and under-resourcing, prohibits penal institutions from fulfilling these commitments for female prisoners. The purpose of this paper is to explore their health concerns. Design/methodology/approach – Six prisons and one detention centre were researched, comprising: female prisoners ( n =69); clinical officers (six); clinic heads (seven); wardens (seven); heads of prisons (seven); and a Directorate representative. Data were collected through observation, focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and a semi-structured questionnaire. Raw data were transcribed and analysed thematically, adopting the General Principles of Grounded Theory. Findings – Both “formal” and “informal” health-coping strategies were dependent upon a range of factors which determined access to treatment, medicines and other items procured both inside and outside of the prison, as well as referral services. Informal systems of support existed for women, especially in regard to pregnancy and raising of babies born in detention. Systems that maintain harmony within cell blocks were identified as an important informal coping strategy. Originality/value – This research is important in informing policy and practice. There is a clear need for gender-sensitive legislative frameworks, penal policies and prison rules to ensure women's needs are addressed. The identified coping strategies were considered viable, but do not replace the need for a health system providing women prisoners with levels of care as available in the community, including commensurate budgeting, personnel, access and referral to more specialised external health services. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Prisoner Health Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1744-9200
DOI
10.1108/IJPH-08-2013-0038
pmid
25764293
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Indonesian law provides prisoners with basic rights, including access to education, health care and nutrition. Yet, structural and institutional limitations, notably overcrowding and under-resourcing, prohibits penal institutions from fulfilling these commitments for female prisoners. The purpose of this paper is to explore their health concerns. Design/methodology/approach – Six prisons and one detention centre were researched, comprising: female prisoners ( n =69); clinical officers (six); clinic heads (seven); wardens (seven); heads of prisons (seven); and a Directorate representative. Data were collected through observation, focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and a semi-structured questionnaire. Raw data were transcribed and analysed thematically, adopting the General Principles of Grounded Theory. Findings – Both “formal” and “informal” health-coping strategies were dependent upon a range of factors which determined access to treatment, medicines and other items procured both inside and outside of the prison, as well as referral services. Informal systems of support existed for women, especially in regard to pregnancy and raising of babies born in detention. Systems that maintain harmony within cell blocks were identified as an important informal coping strategy. Originality/value – This research is important in informing policy and practice. There is a clear need for gender-sensitive legislative frameworks, penal policies and prison rules to ensure women's needs are addressed. The identified coping strategies were considered viable, but do not replace the need for a health system providing women prisoners with levels of care as available in the community, including commensurate budgeting, personnel, access and referral to more specialised external health services.

Journal

International Journal of Prisoner HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 9, 2014

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