Background Mobile technology holds promise as a recovery tool for people with substance use disorders. However, some populations who may benefit the most may not have access to or experience with mobile phones. Incarcerated women represent a group at high risk for recidivism and relapse to substance abuse. Cost-effective mechanisms must be in place to support their recovery upon release. This study explores using mobile technology as a recovery management tool for women offenders residing in the community following release from jail. Subjects and Methods: This study surveyed 325 minority women offenders with substance use disorders to determine whether or not they use cell phones, their comfort with texting and search features, and the social networks that they access from mobile phones. Results: We found that 83% of survey subjects had cell phones; 30% of those were smartphones. Seventy-seven percent of the women reported access to supportive friends, and 88% had close family members they contacted regularly using mobile technology. Results indicated that most of the women were comfortable using a mobile phone, although the majority of them had prepaid minutes rather than plans, and most did currently use smartphones or have the capability to download applications or access social networks via their phones. Most women reported that they would be comfortable using a mobile phone to text, e-mail, and answer surveys. Conclusions: The high rate of adoption of mobile technology by women offenders makes them a promising target for recovery support delivered via mobile phone.
Using Mobile Phone Technology to Provide Recovery Support for Women Offenders (2013)
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