I was honored to talk with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner about how incarceration affects pregnant women and families.
The United States leads the world in incarcerating its citizens and residents, including parents and pregnant women. The impact of incarceration is not distributed equally: people who are already dealing with racism and discrimination or struggling to get by economically are more likely to wind up in prison and jail. This means that African American and Latina/o children are over-represented among the 2.7 million children with an incarcerated parent that Kristin mentioned at the beginning of our conversation.
Listeners who want to learn more and take action can use these links to items we discussed:
Texas HB 1314 will give judges the ability to release pregnant women on personal bond instead of sending them to jail, if the judge determines that release is appropriate.
This bill builds on earlier actions to address the medical needs of pregnant women in the Texas criminal justice system, including a 2014 MomsRising campaign undertaken with state and local advocates to demand better jail conditions.
One of those advocates is the Texas Jail Project, which supports people in jail and collects their stories.
This article by Victoria Law describes bills in Massachusetts and Tennessee to provide alternative, community-based sentences to parents who are primary caregivers for their children.
My posts for MomsRising cover a range of policy developments and news from across the country and provide links to resources and organizations.
And something we didn't mention: resources from Sesame Street for caregivers and service providers.