Women need health and dental care to stay out of prison

Health and social goals identified by women in Alouette Correctional Centre for Women. Author provided

“What I have done is not who I am. Most of us are emotionally and physically wounded. It’s not easy getting out and starting over. We need help, don’t just throw us out into society.”

This testimony from a woman in the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women describes a problem many face on release from a provincial prison. They have no safe place to go —no welcoming family, no home, no job, no community to support them in establishing a healthy crime-free life. Many have untreated chronic health conditions —including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, hepatitis C and HIV/AIDs—and mental health challenges stemming from severe abuse in childhood. Likely they have no family doctor.

When you haven’t seen a dentist in years and your mouth is missing teeth, it can be hard to impress at job interviews, hard to find work….

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