Pregnant Women In Prison Essay

Women In Prisons Essay

“A prison is not supposed to turn you back out to society with more harm than when you came in,” said Deborah LaBelle, an Ann Arbor civil rights lawyer. Sending women into an atmosphere like this is a bad idea because many are wrongfully taken advantage of daily by prison guards. The security and regulations of women inmates are improperly enforced violating the rights of many individuals. A major issue with women inmates is that many women are mothers, enter prison while pregnant, or become impregnated as a result of being raped during their sentence.
Male guards in prisons take advantage of their positions and the regulations, like frisking, to inappropriately touch the inmates. Frisking is to search the incarcerated individuals for weapons, drugs, or anything else that could be potentially hazardous (Elsner, Alan, Cross-Gender Prisoner Searches Are Abusive). The guards learned that they wouldn’t be punished for breaking the rules and as a result, took advantage of the opportunity. Most women are too afraid to stand up for themselves because they don’t know how to prove the wrongdoing of a security personnel. The guards should always have to follow the protocol that they are instructed to perform. If anyone violates the regulations, there should be consequences depending on the situation. Having more female security guards on the female sector of prisons would not be a bad idea because it would help to reduce the sexual abuse and they would be required to report any fowl activity by male guards (Seidel, Jeff. Female Prison Inmates Are Sexually Assaulted by Guards).
As a result of sexual abuse in prisons, twenty five percent of incarcerated women become impregnated during their sentence ("Fate of Pregnant Prisoners."). These women give birth to their child in prison and is usually are separated soon after giving birth. There are nine prisons with programs that allow mothers to see the children for different periods of time early in their life. Normally the mothers would care for their child until customs took the baby. Mothers that were incarcerated that weren’t allowed to see their children often besides a few occasional conjugal family visits if the parents were in any of the six states that allow conjugal family visits. Parents that entered prison while prematurely impregnated would be required to give up their children to customs or give the child up for adoption. The few prisons that do allow for children to remain with their mother, range for various periods of time such as thirty days in South Dakota to three years in Washington.
One point five million children, over a period of twenty five years are born while their mothers are incarcerated in prisons (Schwartzapfel, Beth. "Young Children Fare Better Behind Bars with Their Incarcerated Mothers."). Children at that young of an age will not realize their surroundings aren’t practical for children. The conditions of some prisons are not suitable for children. There is lack of...

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Behind Bars: Pregnant Inmates and the Challenges of Care Essay

1378 Words6 Pages

As a woman, the experience of pregnancy and preparing to bring a new life into this world is, in general, an incredibly exciting time, unless of course, you are one of thousands of women incarcerated in the United States, serving prison time for felony convictions.
While most expectant mothers are planning for baby showers, shopping for maternity clothes and preparing the baby’s nursery, the incarcerated mother-to-be has to remain in a constant state of alertness and preparedness for situations that can put her and her unborn baby at risk, in an environment that is both intimidating and routinely violent. (Hutchinson et. al., 2008) In 2012, the total number of inmates incarcerated in the state and federal correctional system for was…show more content…

(Ferst & Erickson-Owens, 2008) Many of these women were lacking education, had been unemployed or underemployed and were lacking adequate health insurance prior to being incarcerated. (Siefert & Pimlott, 2001) In general, most women enter the prison system with a plethora of physical and emotional obstacles; in addition, the health concerns of pregnancy and childbirth increase the challenges presented to institution medical staff to provide the necessary medical and emotional support that this woman will need. The prison health care system has improved considerably over recent years, especially in the area of women’s health and mental health services, often times due to intervention by health, women and civil rights advocacy groups. (Birth, 2000)
Some of the challenges in the perinatal care in the correctional setting include lack of prenatal care prior to incarceration, drug or alcohol dependency, psychosocial problems or lack of outside family support, victim or transgressor of past abuse or violence and the psychological challenges of being incarcerated. For many women, the reality of being in the prison system can be devastating; the separation from family, which often includes their own children, and friends can cause depression, anxiety and fear. Personal physical safety is also a concern, as prison is often described as having its own “culture”, structure and hierarchy,

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