Women's Health in the Era of Mass Incarceration


Dramatic increases in criminal justice contact in the United States have rendered prison and jail incarceration common for US men and their loved ones, with possible implications for women's health. This review provides the most expansive critical discussion of research on family member incarceration and women's health in five stages. First, we provide new estimates showing how common family member incarceration is for US women by race/ethnicity and level of education. Second, we discuss the precursors to family member incarceration. Third, we discuss mechanisms through which family member incarceration may have no effect on women's health, a positive effect on women's health, and a negative effect on women's health. Fourth, we review existing research on how family member incarceration is associated with women's health. Fifth, we continue our discussion of the limitations of existing research and provide some recommendations for future research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wildeman, C; Lee, H

Published Date

  • January 1, 2021

Volume / Issue

  • 47 /

Start / End Page

  • 543 - 565

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1146/annurev-soc-081320-113303

Citation Source

  • Scopus