The word to remember that I will be discussing is, pregnant inmates. I feel very strongly about the medical, support and resources available to expecting mother whether inmates or law abiding citizens. Recently, a dear friend of mine told me that she was born under the conditions of a pregnant inmate. I decided to do more research to see if her mother and her were giving the proper care while being incarcerated. This paper will provide the statistics of pregnant inmates nationwide and the Indiana Women's Prison, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Second, the textbook authors descriptions and view of pregnant inmates. Finally, I had the opportunity to do an interview with an O.B. correctional officer at The Indiana Women's Prison, discussing the policies and procedures and many other interesting observations. .
It is very common for most women to be incarcerated while pregnant. There is no law that a woman should not be sentenced because she is pregnant. Studies show that most prisons try to accommodate for the pregnant inmates. Most pregnant inmates either are unaware of they condition upon entering the prison system or are already along in their pregnancy. In 1997-1998, more than 2,200 pregnant inmates were imprisoned and more than 1,200 babies were born in prison.1 A recent study was done that showed two percent out of 18,651 inmates were pregnant. At the time of the study, all of the babies were born outside of the prison. Forty-three percent of the babies were taken from their mothers for one week, one percent stayed with the mother six months to one year. There are many problems facing the pregnant female offender. In this study, only seventeen out of forty-five institutions had twenty-four hour medical service on premises.2 Currently, at The Indiana Women's Prisons there are twenty-one pregnant inmates. In 2002, there were fifty to sixty pregnant inmates. The Indiana Women's Prison uses a public sector (PHS) for medical care; therefore, medical staffs are on duty twenty-four hour.