Jail as a Point of Contraceptive Care Access: Needs and Preferences Among Women in an Urban Jail

J Midwifery Womens Health. 2021 Nov;66(6):787-794. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.13270. Epub 2021 Aug 31.


Introduction: Individuals who are incarcerated in the United States often struggle to access family planning care because of the common practice of jails not providing contraceptives on site. However, less is known about the contraceptive needs and preferences, including the desirability of intrauterine devices and implants, among those who are incarcerated.

Methods: Cross-sectional, in-person surveys were administered to 148 reproductive-age women (aged 18-48) incarcerated at an urban jail in Utah to identify women's contraceptive needs and preferences while incarcerated. We used summary statistics and logistic regression to investigate relationships between demographic characteristics, the desire to access contraceptive services while incarcerated, and interest in specific contraceptive methods.

Results: Surveys indicate a high interest in accessing contraceptives while in jail (73%). Participants who were more likely to prefer access to contraceptive services in jail were also more likely to be interested in the injectable (odds ratio [OR], 4.75; 95% CI, 1.03-21.94), the implant (OR, 8.44; 95% CI, 1.70-41.99), and intrauterine devices (OR, 10.04; 95% CI, 3.46-29.20) than participants indicating no desire to access contraceptive services while in jail.

Discussion: Jails could be an access point for contraceptive methods requiring health care provider intervention in the state of Utah. However, care must be taken due to broader historical legacies of reproductive coercion in carceral settings.

Keywords: Utah; contraception; correctional health care; incarceration; jails.

MeSH terms

  • Contraception
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jails*


  • Contraceptive Agents