The Problems of Caring for Pregnant Prisoners

Diane Daane, Univ. of South Carolina , Spartanburg

The effect of incarceration on pregnancy and the needs of pregnant inmates are a growing concern with the increase in the population of incarcerated females. Some argue that incarceration has a negative impact on pregnant inmates and their fetuses, while others argue that inmates may receive better pre-natal care, nutrition, and housing than if they remained on the streets during their pregnancy. While pregnant inmates theoretically are not currently exposed to alcohol, illicit drugs, physical and sexual abuse, and unhealthy living conditions, possible past exposure must be addressed. This review of the literature explores the special health care, case management, nutritional, and mental health needs of pregnant prisoners.

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Updated 05/20/2006