Experiences of pregnancy in prison: understanding access to prenatal care in Canadian federal prisons

Kopp, Amy Elizabeth (2021) Experiences of pregnancy in prison: understanding access to prenatal care in Canadian federal prisons. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Criminalized women represent an acutely marginalized portion of the population with specific healthcare needs that have been overlooked within the Canadian carceral landscape. This thesis aims to focus on the unique experiences and needs of pregnant and incarcerated women in Canadian Federal Prisons with a focus on the prenatal and post-natal care that they receive while incarcerated. This thesis presents an analysis of three qualitative interviews with individuals involved in healthcare and advocacy for pregnant women in prison, by interpreting them in light of the current academic and grey literature. The dominant themes that emerged throughout this thesis include an emphasis on standard of care, community-based programming and supporting mothers and babies as a unit, in order to have the best possible outcome. This project draws on insights from medical anthropology, Foucauldian theory and feminist criminology to frame the discussion of the needs of incarcerated women in Canada. Specifically, it argues that women in Canadian federal prisons should: 1) have access to the same level of care as non-incarcerated women; 2) be empowered to be mothers (should they so desire); and 3) be supported in their return to the community. Through analyzing the interviews, literature, and publicly available grey literature, the thesis focuses heavily on the complex challenges faced by marginalized and incarcerated women, the extent of institutional power to make a difference, and the challenges of early motherhood.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15082
Item ID: 15082
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 103-112).
Keywords: Pregnancy, Prison, Care
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: July 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/sf1f-2223
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Pregnant women--Effect of imprisonment on--Canada; Female offenders--Canada--Attitudes; Prenatal care--Canada.

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