The Light Inside: Giving Birth Behind Bars

What’s it like to give birth or raise an infant, inside the walls of a prison? Or even worse, have to give up your child the day it’s born? On this edition, a look at pregnancy, and motherhood, inside Americas jails and prisons. What does the huge number of incarcerated women in prison foretell for the next generation of America’s kids?

Special Thanks to segment producers: intern Shaunnah Ray, and freelancer Shannon Heffernan. Heffernan’s Time on the Outside project is produced with support from the Soros Justice Media Fellowships Program of the Open Society Institute. Thanks also to Sarah Olson for voices from her 2007 Making Contact edition, Lockdown on Life: Stories from Women Behind Bars.


Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness; Hukee, Prison Doula Project Birth Attendant Program coordinator; Simon Conrad, Marin Fahey, Sarelle Caicedo, doulas; Teresa Correll & Genisis, women who gave Birth at the Washington Correctional Center For Women; Casey & AJ, mothers at Decatur Prison; Susan Creek, Decatur Prison warden.