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Pregnancy- and Child- Related Legal and Policy Issues Concerning Justice-Involved Women

NCJ Number
Myrna Raeder, J.D.
Date Published
December 2013
68 pages

This document provides an overview of pregnancy- and child-related legal issues for developing new policies and practices.


This document is a starting point for analyzing family issues that affect a large percentage of female inmates; a variety of resources, legal and otherwise, are cited to help further research about these issues. This document provides information to administrators in developing policies and practices to address the issues common in female offender populations by providing the legal framework in which authorities made decisions and the contextual information around those decisions. This document is the first of a two-part series on legal issues affecting corrections with regard to justice-involved women. It specifically focuses on reproductive health issues; pregnancy management, particularly with regard to obstetrics and gynecological health issues; pregnancy-related security considerations; visitation; the effect of parental incarceration on both the incarcerated mother and child; and how these issues must inform reentry planning. This document is recommended as a reference for commissioners of correctional departments and their legal staff, wardens, sheriffs, and other prison and jail administrators; community correctional officials; service providers; and stakeholders, including advocates for inmates. 248 endnotes