Maternal Mortality Rates in Black Incarcerated Women

Abstract:

The focal question of my research will be, “To what extent does current legislation ensure the well-being and optimal maternal health of Black incarcerated women?”.  I plan to review the health information that is collected on prisoners in federal and state prisons and will come up with recommendations on how to include maternal mortality in the information in the data collected. When looking at information related to incarcerated peoples, it predominantly pertains to time served by offenders and their level of violence. In my research, I will suggest and find evidence to support the idea that more attention needs to be given to the health of inmates, and more specifically to the health of pregnant incarcerated women. I will introduce preventative measures to lower the maternal mortality rates that can be seen in incarcerated women, especially those who are Black as it has been statistically shown that Black women are more likely to suffer from childbirth complications. Additionally, I will focus on how to incorporate the recommendations from newer laws on maternal health into the Bureau of Justice Statistics data collection. Recent maternal health legislation passed by Congress allocates $12 million a year at the state level for Maternal Mortality Review. These laws place an emphasis on providing care for pregnant women, and it is imperative that this same care is extended to pregnant women who are incarcerated. Consequently, is also important to research the best ways in which to apply this new law to incarcerated women. To help determine this, I will be using a database. The resources that I will be using for my research include the data agency that is mandated to collect data on incarcerated populations in the United States, the Bureau of Justice Statistics under the Department on Justice (https://www.bjs.gov).