Reproductive justice for incarcerated mothers and advocacy for their infants and young children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The United States has seen unprecedented growth in the number of incarcerated women, most of whom are mothers with minor children. Major public health concerns relate to the reproductive health of women in prisons and jails and the well-being of their infants and young children. In the current article, we use a reproductive justice framework to examine the intersection of incarceration and maternal and child health. We review (a) current research on the reproductive health of incarcerated women, (b) characteristics and experiences of pregnant incarcerated women, (c) outcomes of infants and young children with incarcerated parents, (d) implications of research findings for policy and practice, and (e) the need for increased research, public education, and advocacy. We strongly recommend that correctional policies and practices be updated to address the common misconceptions and biases as well as the unique vulnerabilities and health needs of incarcerated women and their young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-741
Number of pages17
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • incarcerated mothers
  • infant mental health
  • pregnant incarcerated women
  • young children

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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