Pregnant and in Prison?

The crisis in ​the American ​criminal justice ​system and ​the need for prison reform ​is sparking ​voracious ​debate​s​, news headlines, and even whole conferences and panels. Within this larger issue is the rapidly growing population of female inmates in American prisons, including women that are arrested while pregnant.

As a ​recent ​piece in the New York Post illustrates, roughly one in every 25 women in prison is convicted while pregnant. For a vast majority of these women, their newborns are taken away from them — either given to relatives or put into foster care — within 24 hours of their birth, and the new mothers are left with few if any resources for spending time with their children and forming relationships. One of these resources, cited by the article, that is making solid efforts to provide services to mothers in prison through their Bedford Hills nursery as well as through their programming available to formerly incarcerated women and their children is Hour Children.

Hour Children is an Elmezzi Foundation​ grantee and through our funding we support their efforts to serve youth of all ages impacted by their parents’ convictions. The article goes on to describe the ways in which mothers at the Bedford Hills prison are benefitting from Hour Children’s programming, even going so far as to say that mothers describe it as a “golden ticket,” and quoting another saying that the programming can help her get on her feet and be a great parent, while taking into account her unique situation.

We are proud to support an organization that ​is addressing the needs of current and formerly incarcerated mothers​, ensuring that they have​​​​ the necessary resources to realize their potential for both themselves and their families. Click here to check out Hour Children’s website and all of the programming they offer, and head over to the piece in the New York Post to read it in full.