Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name



Social Science and Clinical Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis

Second Advisor

Dr. Margaret Counts-Spriggs

Third Advisor

Neena Smith Bankhead


There is a need for the continued exploration of gender inequities within substance abuse treatment centers that affect service delivery, and recovery among incarcerated African-American women. As a result of incarceration, these populations of African-American women are forced into recovery and are less likely to sustain their abstinence and relapse which increases their risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) upon release. This phenomenon of exploration also addressed how these women perceived their susceptibility of risk to HIV and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) infection. In addition, there are various factors as well as programmatic barriers that existed which pose as barriers to women who seek treatment for substance abuse. Eliason (2006) reported that African-American women have decreased recovery rates in substance abuse treatment due to gender inequities and culturally insensitive interventions. This study explored the factors that contribute to the manner in which African-American women seek and complete substance abuse treatment services as well as address service delivery, relapse, and overall perception of HIV risk among 20 incarcerated African-American women who are were over the age of 18 and self identified as having used an illegal drug such as crack/cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, and heroin. Each participant was carefully screened and selected to ensure meeting the criteria for participation in the study. Finally, the significance of the findings is discussed along with the implications for Social Work Policy, Planning, and Administration.

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