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Health and Health Care Utilization Among Children Born to Incarcerated Women

Over the past three decades, the number of women incarcerated in the United States has increased more than 600%. Today, nearly 219,000 women are incarcerated, approximately 6% of whom are pregnant upon their admission to prison. Children born to incarcerated women are known to be at increased risk for health problems. These children may be the most vulnerable in the nation, and yet they are among the least understood. Using a mixed-methods approach, this study seeks to characterize the health status and health care access of children born to incarcerated women, and to identify barriers to accessing care. Building on our partnerships with the Minnesota Prison Doula Project and the Minnesota Department of Corrections, we will conduct telephone interviews with the current caregivers of children born to incarcerated mothers. Findings from this study will inform future programming for incarcerated mothers and their children, and have important implications for corrections policy. Researcher: Rebecca Shlafer (Department of Pediatrics)

Project Award Date: 
Community organization or agency: 
Minnesota Prison Doula Project and Minnesota Department of Corrections
Sponsoring CURA Program: 
CURA Contact: 
Edward Goetz Director, CURA (612) 624-8737