QUESTION: how would I find most recent statistics on the percent or # of prisons providing prenatal care?

question / pregunta: 

How would I find the most recent statistics or records on the percentage or number of women's prisons that provide in-house prenatal care for pregnant prisoners?


The earlier comments had some great suggestions for places to look for information. Doing some additional research, the ACLU has put out some great and fairly recent information on a state-by-state analysis of standards for pregnancy-related health care in U.S. prisons. You might start your search by checking out their 2008 report, available here.
Basically, all US prisons are instructed to provide basic prenatal care for women inmates, but the extent to which they do so varies wildly from state to state, as you'll see both in the state-by-state analysis listed in the ACLU report, and in the 2010 report listed in the comments above, which essentially provides a letter grade for each of the states based on statistics gathered by the ACLU. So although I wasn't able to calculate the percentage of prisons that provide prenatal care, the ACLU report should give you a fairly recent breakdown on a state level, and also provides links to the Department of Corrections for each state.
I also located some databases that might be useful for you in doing further research. The National Criminal Justice Reference Service is run out of the Justice Department, and in doing some cursory searching, found some articles that would likely have additional statistics for you, particularly if you were looking to drill down to the state level. For example, this article works through statistics on female prisoners in Michigan, and this one has a similar focus on Nebraska.
You might also check out Criminal Justice Abstracts for additional resources related to women's reproductive rights in prison.
Works cited
American Civil Liberties Union. (2008). State standards for pregnancy-related health care in prison. Retrieved from
Carlson Jr., J. R. (2009). Prison nurseries: A pathway to crime-free futures. Corrections Compendium, 34(1), 17-22.
Rebecca Project for Women's Rights & National Women's Law Center. (2010). Mothers behind bars: A state-by-state report card and analysis of federal policies on conditions of confinement for pregnant and parenting women and the effect on their children. Retrieved from
Siefert, K., & Pimlott, S. (2001). Improving pregnancy outcome during imprisonment: Model residential care program. Social Work, 46(2), 125-134.

Here's a 2010 report that may help

I was unable to find anything on the Dept. of Justice website.

However, this report from the National Women's Law Center has some pretty extensive state-by-state analysis of prenatal care policies (including whether or not certain policies exist). This might be a starting place (information begins around p. 15).

Re: Question

You may want to get familiar with the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data ( I did have some responses to searching for “prenatal.” I found this source by looking at John Jay College’s library research guide for the topic of criminal justice under the heading Statistics ( There may be some more sources that you will be able to extrapolate the information from.

I also found these two articles which seem to have very useful bibliographies:
1. Mertens, D. (2001). Pregnancy outcomes of inmates in a large county jail setting. Public Health Nursing, 18(1), 45-53. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

2. Bell, J., Zimmerman, F., Huebner, C., Cawthon, M., Ward, D., & Schroeder, C. (2004). Perinatal health service use by women released from jail. Journal of Health Care for the Poor & Underserved, 15(3), 426-442. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Depending on where you are located local organizations may be able to steer you in the right direction. One New York agency that comes to mind is the Osborne Association (

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