"I have to heal myself" : exploring the needs of incarcerated Aboriginal women in southern Alberta

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Lazzaretto-Green, Danille
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
In this exploratory study, I examine the various needs of incarcerated Aboriginal women: a population that has been largely omitted from the current body of literature. Six participants were recruited from, and interviewed at, the Lethbridge Correctional Centre. A total of 12 categories were finalized for analysis, describing the various needs of the participants. Three themes were identified related to the strengths these women displayed and the struggles they have endured in the contexts of their own lives. The results are discussed using the lenses of risk factors for incarceration, ability to have their needs met, and the experience of historical trauma. Implications for both counselling practice and future research are discussed. In particular, additional investigation may be warranted into the impact of cultural and spiritual connectedness, the experience of complicated grief reactions, and the experiences and understanding of historical trauma among female Aboriginal offenders.
complicated grief , counselling , female Aboriginal offenders , historical trauma