Hep C, Pap Smears, and Basic Care: Justice Now and the Right to Family

Johanna Hoffman

in Interrupted Life

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520252493
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944565 | DOI:
Hep C, Pap Smears, and Basic Care: Justice Now and the Right to Family

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Every woman enters prison with gender-specific health concerns, and many enter with already compromised health. Uniquely affected by imprisonment, many women establish health problems or experience exacerbations of preexisting conditions. Many women prisoners suffer harm to their reproductive health through a variety of violent and negligent medical practices, such as forced and unnecessary hysterectomies. Many die prematurely because medical staffs in prisons do not provide timely test results for serious illnesses. The response of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the specific needs of women is to furnish more beds in “gender-responsive prisons.” Justice Now is a human rights organization working with people in women's prisons to end violence inflicted by the prison-industrial complex against individuals and families. This chapter describes three consequences of deficient health care in California prisons and elsewhere: insufficient treatment and containment of the epidemic of hepatitis C, insufficient and ineffective use of Pap smears to detect cervical cancer, and the rising number of incarcerated persons with broken and irreparable health.

Keywords: Justice Now; health care; women prisoners; hepatitis C; Pap smears; cervical cancer; California; human rights; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; families

Chapter.  3942 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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