The Right to a Protected Pregnancy: Models of Perinatal Support for Women in Massachusetts Correctional Facilities



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Today, over 1.2 million women in the United States are incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. In Massachusetts alone, 2,000 women are currently incarcerated, 8,000 annually. Each year, more than 200 of them are pregnant. This project examines the care available to pregnant and postpartum women at two Massachusetts correctional facilities—MCI-Framingham, a state prison, and the Western Massachusetts Women’s Correctional Center (WCC), a county jail. I address the current state and facility-specific policies regarding pregnant prisoners and assess the existing models of perinatal care. Ultimately, my work provides recommendations for Massachusetts correctional facility administrators, policymakers, and healthcare professionals regarding the implementation of appropriate perinatal care and protection of reproductive rights both during incarceration and post-release. It also briefly addresses the use of community-based services as an alternative to incarceration and as an essential tool for reducing recidivism rates.



pregnancy, prison, women, birth, drug, prisoner, female