Pregnancy and parenting support for incarcerated women: Lessons learned

Rebecca J. Shlafer, Erica Gerrity, Grant Duwe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: There are more than 200,000 incarcerated women in U.S. prisons and jails, and it is estimated that 6% to 10% are pregnant. Pregnant incarcerated women experience complex risks that can compromise their health and the health of their offspring. Objectives: Identify lessons learned from a community–university pilot study of a prison-based pregnancy and parenting support program. Methods: A community–university–corrections partnership was formed to provide education and support to pregnant incarcerated women through a prison-based pilot program. Evaluation data assessed women’s physical and mental health concerns and satisfaction with the program. Between October 2011 and December 2012, 48 women participated. Lessons Learned: We learned that providing services for pregnant incarcerated women requires an effective partnership with the Department of Corrections, adaptations to traditional community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches, and resources that support both direct service and ongoing evaluation. Conclusions: Effective services for pregnant incarcerated women can be provided through a successful community– university–corrections partnership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-378
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Community health partnerships
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Health disparities
  • Prisoners
  • Women’s health

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