• Advocating for pregnant women in prison: Georgia can do better

      Webb, Nancy C.; Gates, Madison L. (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Women are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. prison populace and approximately 1 in 25 were pregnant when they were incarcerated. However, women, including pregnant women, are receiving unacceptable health care in correctional systems. Further, many correctional systems lack policies to protect the best interest of incarcerated women, mothers and their children. Methods: We reviewed the literature on pregnant women in prison and found that corrections has been slow in making changes and adapting facilities for women, especially related to pregnancy, parenting skills and nurseries. It has been suggested the parent-infant attachment and the involvement incarcerated parents have with their children can help in preventing intergenerational crime. Results: The prison system in the U.S. is not set up to meet the needs of pregnant women prisoners. Many states, including Georgia, do not have policies regarding prenatal care or the use of restraints during labor and delivery. Conclusions: Georgia should rethink its prison-spending model. It would behoove Georgia’s leaders to take a look at what programs exist for pregnant women and mothers and consider adopting a model that would be a good fit for our state. We propose a collaborative approach for stakeholders to improve the care of pregnant offenders and the health of their children.