A Look at the Health of Oregon's Adolescents in the Adult Correctional System

Jennifer A. Gilhooly, Emily Simon, Rachel Tsu, C. Wayne Sells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reviews a study that evaluated the health and services available to adolescents within Oregon's adult correctional system. Information was obtained by reviewing the adolescents' institutional records, surveying correctional staff, and completing a history and physical. All 15 youth who were eligible consented to the study; 80% were white, 13% black, and 7% Hispanic. Upon enrollment, the youth had served an average of 230 days, of which approximately 47% were spent in a segregated unit with limited access to educational, recreational, and religious services. Seventy-seven percent reported chronic health conditions, 87% mental health disorders, 77% alcohol and substance abuse, and 33% prior suicide attempts. The youth reported responsibility for 13 pregnancies and six children. While these youth are at high risk for STDs, no specific policies or procedures for screening for common infections were in place. In addition, immunization practices were not consistent with national standards. The results of this study showed that adolescents assigned to an adult prison facility have significant health and educational needs that require developmentally appropriate services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-65
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Correctional Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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