Mental Health Consequences of Sexual Misconduct by Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Personnel among Black Drug-Involved Women in Community Corrections
This study examines the prevalence, correlates, and mental health consequences of sexual misconduct by law enforcement and criminal justice (LECJ) personnel. Baseline data for Project E-WORTH (Empowering African-American Women on the Road to Health) were collected between November 2015 and May 2018 from 351 drug-involved Black women from community corrections in New York City. LECJ sexual misconduct was self-reported and we measured mental health outcomes with the CESD-4 and the PTSD Checklist. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed. Approximately 14% of our sample had experienced LECJ sexual misconduct. Participants who reported multiple arrests, recent drug use, and having experienced childhood sexual victimization were more likely to have experienced LECJ sexual misconduct. Further, LECJ sexual misconduct was positively associated with depression and PTSD. These findings suggest that LECJ sexual misconduct is a previously unreported risk factor for adverse mental health outcomes among criminal-legal system-involved women. There is a need for recognition of LECJ sexual victimization among criminal-legal system-involved women. As such, prevention, treatment, and community corrections service delivery for this population should be trauma informed.
KeywordsMental health Depression Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Criminal justice Community corrections Women
This analysis was supported by Awards :
5T32DA037801:Training Program On HIV And Substance Use In The Criminal Justice System
5R01DA038122: A Multimedia HIV/STI Intervention For Black Drug-Involved Women On Probation
F31DA044794 The Impact Of Criminal Justice Involvement On Retention In A Behavioral HIV Prevention
Intervention For Couples Who Use Drugs In Almaty, Kazakhstan
R25DA037190 Lifespan/Brown Criminal Justice Research Program on Substance Use and HIV
All of the above are from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health.
- 1.Kaeble D. Probation and Parole in 2016 [Internet]. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); 2018. Available from: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=6188. Accessed 19 Mar 2019.
- 2.Carson EA. Prisoners in 2016 [Internet]. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); Available from: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=6187. Accessed 19 Mar 2019
- 3.Freiburger TL, Marcum CD. Women in the criminal justice system: tracking the journey of females and crime. CRC Press; 2015.Google Scholar
- 10.Brinkley-Rubinstein L. Incarceration as a catalyst for worsening health. Health & justice [Internet]. 2013;1. Available from: http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC5151791. Accessed 19 Mar 2019
- 15.Armstrong L. From law enforcement to protection? Interactions between sex workers and police in a decriminalized street-based sex industry. Brit J Criminol. 2017;57:570–88.Google Scholar
- 18.Lunze K, Raj A, Cheng DM, et al. Sexual violence from police and HIV risk behaviours among HIV-positive women who inject drugs in St. Petersburg, Russia - a mixed methods study. J Int AIDS Soc. 2016;19(4 Suppl 3):20877. https://doi.org/10.7448/IAS.19.4.20877
- 21.US Department of Justice. National standards to prevent, detect, and respond to prison rape. 2012;Google Scholar
- 22.Rantala R. Sexual victimization reported by adult correctional authorities, 2012-15 [Internet]. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); 2018. Report No.: NCJ251146. Available from: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svraca1215.pdf. Accessed 19 Mar 2019
- 23.Johnson K, Gilbert L, Hunt T, Wu E, Metsch L, Goddard-Eckrich D, et al. The effectiveness of a group-based computerized HIV/STI prevention intervention for black women who use drugs in the criminal justice system: study protocol for E-WORTH (Empowering African-American Women on the Road to Health), a Hybrid Type 1 randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2018;19:486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 26.American Public Health Association. Law enforcement violence as a public health issue. Policy American Public Health Association Policy No LB-16-02. 2016.Google Scholar
- 28.Myhill A, Bradford B. Overcoming cop culture? Organizational justice and police officers’ attitudes toward the public. Policing: An International. J Pol Strat Manag. 2013;36:338–56.Google Scholar