COVID-19's Effect on Pregnancy Care for Incarcerated People

Camille Kramer, Ashley Devon Williamston, Rebecca J. Shlafer, Carolyn B. Sufrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective/background: Prisons and jails are high risk environments for COVID-19. Little is known about COVID-19's impact on pregnancy care for the tens of thousands of pregnant people who pass through these institutions each year. This study aimed to describe how COVID-19 has influenced prisons' and jails' pregnancy care services. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of U.S. prisons and jails and report descriptive statistics. Results: We received 17 responses. Sites reported changes in prenatal care delivery, support programming, housing, and visitation. Most sites implemented changes in housing arrangements to quarantine individuals at-risk for COVID-19. Many sites increased their use of virtual technology to supplement for suspended in-person appointments, programming, and visitation. Conclusions: The impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy care delivery and support services for incarcerated pregnant people is variable. As the pandemic continues, research and policy should ensure that incarcerated pregnant people have access to full scope pregnancy care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-411
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Equity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ashley-Devon Williamston’s, Camille Kramer’s, and Carolyn Sufrin’s time were supported by grants from NIH (NIDA 5K23DA045934-02) and the Society of Family Planning (SFPRF11-09). The funding organizations had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of data; preparation, review, or approval of the article; and decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© Camille Kramer et al., 2022; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2022.


  • COVID-19
  • Incarceration
  • Jails
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy care
  • Prisons

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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