#sayhername: The Health Consequences of Mass Imprisonment for (Black) Women

what happens to people who are left behind when a family member goes to prison what happens to their health and so there has been work showing that for example for kids if their father is in prison it increases the risk of behavioral problems in school a cognitive development and poor mental health are some big examples of work and there’s a growing body of research also showing that if you have a romantic partner incarcerated or other family member incarcerated that can also impact your health so for example women who have romantic partners in prison are at increased risk of poor mental health whether that be depression or anxiety and there’s also work showing women who have family members incarcerated or increased risk for different types types of cardiovascular diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and in qualitative works, so not using survey data, we’re also finding that women are experiencing other kinds of health issues due to worrying about partners or because they don’t have time or money to be able to deal with their health issues so those can be things like sleep deprivation and an inability to have access to and eat healthy foods, migraine headaches, etc. all these kinds of things not only increase the risk for other kinds of health conditions right but it also impacts their financial well-being and their ability to care for themselves and their family so I you know I used to say her name hashtag because I think that that movement has been focused on thinking about or focusing on anti violence and and and also the violence that has been enacted against women, particularly women of color and it also speaks to the invisibility of women in the black lives matter movement for example the reason I’m using it is because it also speaks of the invisibility of women and lots of other arenas so i think even when we do research and we’re interested in incarceration a lot of the focus has been on men so I’m talking about people who are in prison right? So we’re now paying more attention to women in prison in jails but even when we’re thinking about the consequences of incarceration for families that are left behind a lot of the work in my opinion has focused a lot on the children which is really important but we also need to be thinking about the women and the ways in which their health is impacted especially because oftentimes they’re the ones who are left to care for the children but I think in general the say her name hashtag is really important because i think it’s a critique on a larger scale of the of the lack of attention we pay to the health and well-being of of women in in all arenas and the need for attention not just in the policy arena but also in the kind of research we do and even when we’re talking about families and who needs to be at the table when we’re creating policies and practices that are going to improve the conditions of family and protect the safety of our our communities

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