PURPOSE: Incarcerated women are a vulnerable and unique population of special concern to nurses as they have high rates of mental illness. In this article, the authors discuss how trauma exposure contributes to mental illness in incarcerated women through abuse, socioeconomic factors, and the prison environment, how this trauma exposure manifests in the inmate survivor, and the related implications for practice.
CONCLUSIONS: A history of trauma and victimization is related to complex mental health issues which affect the majority of justice-involved women. The correctional environment can exacerbate these issues.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Nursing implications include discussion of the trauma-informed care model. The authors recommend a model of trauma-informed care named "the 4 Es" that can guide nurses in preparing a trauma-informed correctional environment and discuss the importance of nurse-led policy change in finding alternatives to incarceration for women with mental illness.
- Incarcerated women
- trauma, trauma-informed care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Phychiatric Mental Health