This article takes as a starting point the tragic death of an infant in one women's prison in 2019, and the stillbirth that followed nine months later in another, and asks why these women were in custody at such a critical time in their pregnancies.
The articles looks at how pregnant women and mothers of young children are processed through the criminal justice system - from point of arrest to release and completion of supervision requirements - to identify the potential impact of current service provision and decision making on them, their pregnancies and children. Evidence is drawn from relevant publications, data published by the Ministry of Justice, casework data and court observations from previous research and evaluation work of non-governmental organisations, carried out in prisons and courts by the author between 2010 and 2019.
By Dr Liz Hales
Published in the Coventry Law Journal Volume 26 (1)