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Families of incarcerated women, health promotion and access to social policies in the Federal District, Brazil


This paper assesses the options for accessing public policies available to families of women incarcerated in the female penitentiary of Brazil’s Federal District. It seeks to contribute to the construction of health promotion strategies for the female population living in the prison system. Some of the claims were revealed in the national comprehensive healthcare policy for individuals in the prison system, especially those that acknowledge the importance of intersectoral actions and relationship networks to promote health. Data are presented from research conducted at the penitentiary in 2014 that used qualitative methodology by means of participant observation and semi-structured interviews with family members of women incarcerated in the Federal District. It was detected that attention must be paid to the different types of relationship that exist between incarcerated women and their families, and especially to the allegations of exhaustion and difficulty of access to public policies. A more in-depth survey into how this population organizes itself could assist in the development of public policies to promote health and overcome social vulnerability.

Incarcerated women; Families of incarcerated women; National Policy of Comprehensive Health Care to People Deprived of Liberty in the Prison System; Health promotion

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