Health Literacy in Criminal Justice Involved Populations Criminal Justice
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By Jordan Harrison, Criminal Justice
Advisor: Kimberly Sperber
Presentation ID: 32
Abstract: Individuals involved in the corrections system present with health related problems at a much higher rate than those in the general population. This issue may be due, in part, to low "health literacy" among this population. Health literacy is defined as the extent to which an individual can understand healthcare information and subsequently make informed health decisions. While the rationale exists to assess whether low health literacy contributes to the poor health issues found among correctional populations, very little research has examined this issue. Thus, the current study draws on data collected from 11 community-based correctional facilities in the state of Ohio to examine the health literacy demonstrated by the individuals serving time at these institutions. Beyond assessing the level of health literacy, a series of t-tests and bivariate correlations will be computed to examine whether differences exist between individuals of different criminogenic risk levels, races, and genders. There are several implications of this exploratory research, such as training correctional staff to address health needs of correctional clients, and broader interventions to improve health literacy of these populations through correctional programming.