Sexual Victimization and Mental Illness Prevalence Rates Among Incarcerated Women: A Literature Review
Date:  10-10-2019

Review concludes sexual victimization is a pathway to prison
From HHS Public Access:

The sexual victimization of women has been widely investigated, including in several national and international studies of prevalence rates and associated consequences (Black et al., 2011; Pereda, Guilera, Forns, & Gomez-Benito, 2011). However, less focus has been on sexual victimization in specialty populations - such as incarcerated women - who seem to evidence both disproportionate prevalence rates and high rates of potentially associated mental health problems such as depression and PTSD. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to (1) summarize and critique studies which have investigated sexual victimization and mental illness among incarcerated women, and (2) provide directions for future research based on our results. Given that sexual victimization has been hypothesized to be a gender specific pathway to prison, in part through the development of mental illness (including substance use disorders; Browne et al., 1999; Salisbury & Van Voorhis, 2009), clarifying the scope and impact of sexual victimization and mental illness among the approximately 200,000 women who are currently incarcerated (Carson & Anderson, 2015) is paramount to improving our understanding of the unique needs of this population. Examining sexual victimization, mental illness, and their overlap for incarceration together in this review will also allow us to consider the state of the evidence for the hypothesis that sexual victimization may lead to incarceration through the development of mental illness (Lynch et al., 2017; Salisbury & Van Voorhis, 2009). Understanding the temporal ordering of events may in turn inform intervention and/or prevention efforts for this marginalized population. Continue reading >>>