HARRISBURG, PA — First Lady Frances Wolf recently hosted Women In Reentry: Maternal Health and Family Well-Being, the second in a series of virtual conversations, between formerly incarcerated women, reentry advocates and maternal health professionals. The panel discussed the impacts of incarceration on a woman’s maternal health and the implications they can have on her children and family. They also highlighted active programs that are supporting the maternal and familial needs of women reentrants.
“Women who enter the criminal justice system as mothers or expecting mothers come home to the responsibility of caring for their children, and unfortunately, there are a host of challenges that can make their transition especially difficult,” said First Lady Frances Wolf. “We must do all we can to support and empower these women so that they and their families can thrive.”
There are approximately 30 to 50 pregnancies a year within Pennsylvania’s state correctional facilities, while over half of all women in U.S. prisons and 80 percent of women in jails are mothers. Most of them are also the primary caretakers of their children and incarceration leaves their children with a lapse in support. Additionally, a woman’s absence can threaten the family structure, making the need for maternal and family support vital to incarcerated women and reentrants.
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