Jail Provision of Pregnancy and Sexual Health Services in Four Midwestern States

Ashlyn Lipnicky, Sierra Stites, Carolyn Sufrin, Jennifer K. Bello, Rebecca Shlafer, Patricia J. Kelly, Megha Ramaswamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Women incarcerated in local jails have pregnancy and sexual health needs, yet little information is available about what services are provided and how jail administrators prioritize this care. Our objective was to document jails’ provision of pregnancy and sexual health services in four states in the Midwest. Methods: We invited all jail administrators (N = 347) in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska to participate in a web-based survey conducted from November 2017 to October 2018. We asked administrators which pregnancy and sexual health services they offered and to rate the importance of offering services. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Results: The survey response rate was 55% (192/347). Jails most often provided pregnancy testing (n = 116 [60%]) and distribution of prenatal vitamins (n = 85 [44%]). Sexually transmitted infection treatment was offered at 23% of jails (n = 45). Larger, accredited jails located in urban areas and with high numbers of clinical providers on staff were more likely to provide sexual health services. Jails with privately contracted health care were more likely to provide pregnancy services compared with other entities providing medical care. The most prioritized sexual health service was sexually transmitted infection testing, with 39% of administrators believing it was important. Only 6% of administrators responded that contraception was important. Conclusions: Local jails in the Midwest do not meet the basic reproductive and sexual health needs of women. Provision of these services is not a priority for jail administrators. Appropriate partnerships could engage administrators and increase the availability of services to meet the needs of women in jail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funded by the National Institutes of Health , United States, National Cancer Institute , United States, grant ( R21 CA204767 ) awarded to the senior author. The funding body had no role in the design of the study; collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; or in the writing of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, George Washington University

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


Dive into the research topics of 'Jail Provision of Pregnancy and Sexual Health Services in Four Midwestern States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this