Today we launch our latest research report, A Window of Opportunity: Understanding the needs and experiences of pregnant women and new mothers in contact with the criminal justice system in the community in England.
Birth Companions joined forces with Clinks to research the experiences of women serving community sentences, under probation supervision after leaving prison, or on bail.
Pregnancy and early motherhood can be challenging for any woman, but is often made even more difficult for women navigating complex systems while in situations of disadvantage, isolation, trauma or abuse. The impact of contact with services during this period on mother and child can be significant and long-lasting. As we’ve heard in the course of this research, getting this contact right is frequently transformative. Getting it wrong can be disastrous.
Based on women's lived experiences and the experiences of those involved in their care, we have made 16 recommendations for change aimed at criminal justice agencies, health services, voluntary sector organisations and social services.