The (S)HE team's mission is to empower people in jails to protect their health during incarceration, create opportunities for health promotion and civic engagement as people leave jails, and explore health-promoting systems linkages between communities and carceral systems to better serve the public's health.
(S)HE is a 10-year-long federally funded study (ongoing) aimed at improving health literacy, reducing risk and increasing preventive screening among women leaving jail. The study goals in the first five years were to evaluate an intervention designed to improve cervical health knowledge, reduce barriers to screening that are related to beliefs about cervical cancer, improve self-efficacy for navigating providers and health care systems and increase cervical cancer screening. (S)HE was funded for another five years to improve health literacy, reduce risk and increase preventive screening for cervical cancer, breast cancer, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections.
What Else We're Doing:
Current (S)HE projects include the main cervical health and broader women’s health literacy study with people leaving jails. The (S)HE team also includes the "Tri-City Cervical Cancer Prevention Study among Women in the Justice System." A team of collaborators from RTI San Francisco, University of Alabama Birmingham and University of Kansas Medical Center are working together to follow about 600 women from Oakland, Birmingham and Kansas City to better understand cervical cancer screening and follow-up. We also reach people with COVID-19 testing and vaccine literacy programming through Wed and text platforms.
SHE Language Commitment
People of all gender identities have sexual and reproductive healthcare needs. Historically, the research focus of the Sexual Health Empowerment team has been cervical cancer prevention for currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. We acknowledge and honor that people with cervices do not all identify as women, and we are committed to using inclusive language that respects the experience of individuals of all gender identities. Prior to 2023, our content includes gendered language; however, moving forward, we are committed to using inclusive language and have updated previous content where possible.
The Sexual Health Empowerment team is also committed to using person-centered language. We use terms and phrases like “individual who has intersected with the criminal legal system,” “currently/formerly incarcerated individual,” or “person experiencing incarceration” rather than “inmate” or “felon.” Furthermore, we prefer to use “criminal legal system” in lieu of “criminal justice system.” Our aim with these practices is to ensure that every individual accessing our materials and interacting with our team feels included, seen, and witnessed.
For any inquiries about (S)HE, please contact Joi Wickliffe, project director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (913) 588-2646.