During the past year, the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health (CMIH) has been investigating perinatal health in the criminal justice system. As part of the North Carolina Perinatal Health Strategic Plan, with some resources from the UNC School of Social Work, we have been exploring the needs and experience of this important population.
In a desire to share what we have learned with our clinical partners, and come together to have a conversation and understand more about how we can best serve these women, an initial meeting was convened. The objective was to better understand the practices and policies in place that affect these women when they come into our care, and identify strategies to strengthen the existing system. Clinicians with experience and responsibilities working with incarcerated women during the perinatal period were encouraged to join along with other stakeholders with an interest in this topic.
What resulted, was an initial gathering in August 2017 of a group of individuals from a broad range of disciplines that came together based on their shared interest in perinatal health and incarceration in North Carolina. The group convened again in December 2017 and plan to continue to meet to address this issue. This group is also looking to organize a daylong summit to explore and highlight this important maternal and infant health concern.
Agencies and organizations that are currently participating in this work group include:
ACLU-NC, Our Children’s Place, UNC Horizons, UNC Hospital, Sister Song NC, Moms Rising, NC State Center for Health Statistics, UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health, NC Division of Public Health Women’s Health Branch, WakeMed, MAHEC, NC Child, and App Health; All of Us or None; Spirit House, Inc.; Elon University; UNC Midwives; UNC Newborn Nursery; UNC School of Social Work; Pro-Choice NC; Carolina Justice Policy Center
If you are interested in learning more about this work please email Megan Canady at email@example.com
Here is a list of key resources focused on perinatal incarceration.