Alternatives for Pregnant Women in the Correction World
In the correction world there is a lot to deal with and one big aspect of it is that there are many women that go into jails or prisons pregnant or already having children. The amount of women in jails or prisons keeps rising over the years. There are better ways then keeping pregnant women in jails. Alternatives for these women are in there best interests.
The numbers of women in jails or prisons have increased greatly over the years. Female prisoner population has more than doubled since 1990. Right now there are over 150,000 women in U.S. prisons and jails. (Sokoloff, Violent Female Offenders in NYS: Myths and Facts, Crime and Justice in NY, A. Karmon, 2000-2001) With this being said 75% of these women are mothers most of them have children under the age of 18 and 25% of them have given birth in prison or to the year prior to there arrest. 9% of women in jail are pregnant and that would be about 12,500 women are currently pregnant. Are there adequate facilities for these women? Consult: http://www.aetn.org/mip/jtml/statistics.html
For many prisons there facilities aren’t adequate for the pregnant women that are being held there. In a state survey it was found that less then 50% of facilities have written policies specifically relating to medical care for pregnant women and only 48% offer prenatal services. Only 21% offer prenatal counseling and 15% offer counseling to help mothers find suitable placements for their infants after birth. Women that are in the system do not receive regular pelvic exams or sonograms, that they receive little to no education about prenatal care and nutrition, that they have the inability to alter their diets to suit their changing caloric needs, and that they could be shackled during delivery and can not have labor support from family members. There are many reasons why pregnant women should have alternatives.
There are several things that come into play when it comes to women that are in jail or prison and are having children or have children. For example there women who are in prison or jail and are pregnant are known as high risk population because there can be many issues with pregnant women. For instance women that has her child while in prison are more likely the have children with low birth weight, premature, and there is a high death rate. The mothers can not access the right amount of heath services compared to women who are not incarcerated. Another reason for alternatives is children of incarcerated parents are at increased risk of anxiety, depression, aggression, truancy, attention disorders, and poor scholastic performance. The separation of a child from its mother is always traumatic for them and the trauma can result in poor development while growing up. A large amount of children also go into foster care. 4.5% of children in foster care are due to parental incarceration. Foster...