Prevalence of alcohol use disorders and depression among recent inmates (1 – 12 months) at Lang’ata women’s prison in Nairobi
Background: The link between alcohol use disorders, depression and crime is complex and demands keen attention. Alcohol abuse is associated with being both a perpetuator and victim of crime while the link between depression and crime is controversial. The upward trend in female crime parallels a concurrent increase in the prevalence of female substance abuse. Research also confirms a higher prevalence of depression among women. The extent to which gender differences alters the relationship between alcohol use disorders, depression and crime is still unclear. Objectives: This research sets out to determine the prevalence of alcohol use disorders and depression among female prison inmates incarcerated with the last 12 months. It also determines whether there is an association among alcohol use disorders, depression and crime within the study sample. Methods: This was a cross sectional study using systematic random sampling technique (n=196). Data analysis: SPSS version 17.0 was used to analyse data using measures of location and dispersion for continuous variable, and descriptive statistics for discrete variables. Data will be presented on 2 x 2 tables and C x R tables in order to determine associations among substance abuse, depression and crime. (α=0.05) Results: Majority of the respondents (58%) were between the ages of 21-30 years and were never married. More than half the respondents had secondary education and above. 82% were either employed or self-employed.66.5% (129) were in jail for non- capital offences mostly acquisitive offences, while 33.5% (65) were in jail for capital offences. 53% (103) were taking alcohol in a harmful way or were dependent on alcohol. 49% met criteria for moderate, severe and extreme depression. There is a significant relationship (p=0.049) between the alcohol use and depression. Recommendations: 1. Screening of new inmates for depression and alcohol use disorders. 2. This can be complemented by an integrated depression and alcohol use disorder services within the prison system. 3. Psychoeducation about depression and alcohol use disorders as a priority for all incarcerated women.