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Jailcare bookWritten by ARRWIP director Carolyn Sufrin, Jailcare explores the experiences of pregnant people cycling in and out of jails as they carry their pregnancies in a space of punishment. In this time when the public safety net is frayed, incarceration has become a central and racialized strategy for managing the poor. Using her ethnographic fieldwork and clinical work as an ob-gyn in a women’s jail, Sufrin explores how jail has, paradoxically, become a place where women can find care.

Focusing on the experiences of incarcerated pregnant women as well as on the practices of the jail guards and health providers who care for them, Jailcare describes the contradictory ways that care and maternal identity emerge within a punitive space presumed to be devoid of care. Sufrin argues that jail is not simply a disciplinary institution that serves to punish. Rather, when understood in the context of the poverty, addiction, violence, and racial oppression that characterize these women’s lives and their reproduction, jail has, tragically and problematically, become a safety net for women on the margins of society.

PIPS Publications

Kramer, C., Thomas, K., Patil, A. et al. Shackling and pregnancy care policies in US prisons and jailsMatern Child Health J (2022).

Cheedalla A, Sufrin CB. Contraception Policies in U.S. Jails, Prisons, and Juvenile Detention Systems: A National Survey. J Correct Health Care. 2021 Aug 12. doi: 10.1089/jchc.19.07.0060. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34388036.

Pan YL, Beal L, Espino K, Sufrin CB. Female permanent contraception policies and occurrence at a sample of U.S. prisons and jails. Contraception. 2021 Aug 13:S0010-7824(21)00349-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2021.08.005. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34400155.

Sufrin C, Jones RK, Beal L, Mosher WD, Bell S. Abortion Access for Incarcerated People: Incidence of Abortion and Policies at U.S. Prisons and Jails. Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Aug 5. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004497. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34352850.

Kim M, Sufrin C, Nowotny K, Beal L, Jiménez MC. Pregnancy Prevalence and Outcomes in 3 United States Juvenile Residential Systems. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2021 Aug;34(4):546-551. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2021.01.005. Epub 2021 Jan 21. PMID: 33484848; PMCID: PMC8277661.

Asiodu IV, Beal L, Sufrin C Breastfeeding in Incarcerated Settings in the United States: A National Survey of Frequency and Policies. Breastfeeding Medicine. In press. DOI: 10.1089/bfm.2020.0410

Sufrin, C., Jones, R.K., Mosher, W.D., & Beal, L. 2020. Pregnancy Prevalence and Outcomes in U.S. Jails. Obstetrics and Gynecology. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003834

Sufrin, C., Sutherland, L., Beal, L., Terplan, M., Latkin, C., & Clarke, J. G. 2020. Opioid Use Disorder Incidence and Treatment Among Incarcerated Pregnant People in the U.S.: Results from a National Surveillance Study. Addiction. doi: 10.1111/add.15030

Bronson, J., & Sufrin, C. 2019. Pregnant Women in Prison and Jail Don’t Count: Data Gaps on Maternal Health and Incarceration. Public Health Reports, 134(1_suppl), 57S-62S. 

Sufrin C., Beal L., Clarke J., Jones R., Mosher W.D. 2019. Pregnancy Outcomes in U.S. Prisons, 2016-2017. American Journal of Public Health. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305006 

*Read PIPS Project Director Carolyn Sufrin’s Op Ed about study results in The Hill
The Hill | Criminal Justice reform must include pregnant women | March 2019

Abortion and Incarceration

Sufrin C, Williamston AD, Beal L, Hayes CM, and Kramer C.“I mean, I didn’t really have a choice of anything:” How incarceration influences abortion decision-making and precludes access in the United States. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2023;1‐13.doi:10.1363/psrh.2235

Sufrin C, Jones RK, Beal L, Mosher WD, Bell S. Abortion Access for Incarcerated People: Incidence of Abortion and Policies at U.S. Prisons and Jails. Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Aug 5. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004497. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34352850.

Gips J, Psoter K, Sufrin C. Does distance decrease healthcare options for pregnant, incarcerated people? Mapping the distance between abortion providers and prisonsContraception. 2020 Apr; 101(4): 266-272.  doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2020.01.005.

Sufrin, C. When the Punishment is Pregnancy: Carceral Restriction of Abortion in the U.S. Cultural Anthropology. 2019; 34(1): 34-40.

Sufrin CB, Creinin MD, and Chang JC. Incarcerated Women and Abortion Provision: A Survey of Correctional Health Professionals. Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2009 Mar; 41(1): 6-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-2393.2009.4110609

Contraception and Incarceration

Myers K, Dalessandro C, Geist C, Sufrin C. Jail as a Point of Contraceptive Care Access: Needs and Preferences Among Women in an Urban Jail. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2021 Aug 31. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.13270. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34463421.

Pan YL, Beal L, Espino K, Sufrin CB. Female permanent contraception policies and occurrence at a sample of U.S. prisons and jails. Contraception. 2021 Aug 13:S0010-7824(21)00349-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2021.08.005. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34400155.

Suresh S, Questall L, Sufrin C. Access to Reproductive Health Care in Juvenile Justice FacilitiesJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. 2020 Jun;33(3):296-301. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2019.11.005.

Ti A, Burns R, Barnert E, Sufrin C, Dehlendorf C.  Perspectives on patient-centered family planning care from incarcerated girls: a qualitative study. Journal of Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology. 2019 Oct; 32(5): 491-498. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2019.05.013.  

Schonberg D, Bennett AH, Sufrin C, Karasz A, Gold M. Contraception in Jail: What women want: A qualitative study of contraception in jailAmerican Journal of Public Health. 2015; 105(11):2269-74. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.30276.

Sufrin C, Oxnard T, Goldenson J, Simonson K, Jackson A. Long-acting, reversible contraception for incarcerated women: Feasibility and safety of on-site provision. Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2015; 47(4) 203-211. doi: 10.1363/47e5915

LaRochelle F, Castro C, Goldenson J, Tulsky J, Cohan D, Blumenthal P, Sufrin CB. Contraception Use and Barriers to Access among Newly Arrested Women. Journal of Correctional Health Care. 2012 Apr; 18(2): 111-9. doi: 10.1177/1078345811435476

Sufrin CB, Tulsky JP, Goldenson J, Winter KS, Cohan D.  Emergency Contraception for Newly Arrested Women: Evidence for an Unrecognized Public Health Opportunity.  Journal of Urban Health. 2010 Mar; 87(2): 244-253. doi: 10.1007/s11524-009-9418-8

Sufrin CB, Creinin MD, and Chang JC.  Contraception Services for Incarcerated Women: A National Survey of Correctional Health ProvidersContraception. 2009 Dec; 80(6): 561-5. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2009.05.126

Pregnancy and Parenting and Incarceration

Lipnicky A, Stites S, Sufrin C, et al. Jail Provision of Pregnancy and Sexual Health Services in Four Midwestern States [published online ahead of print, 2022 Sep 9]. Womens Health Issues. 2022;S1049-3867(22)00082-2. doi:10.1016/j.whi.2022.07.004

Rajagopal, K; Landis-Lewis, D; Haven, K; Sufrin, C. Reproductive Health Care for Incarcerated People: Advancing Health Equity in Unequitable Settings. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: August 31, 2022. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000746

Kramer C, Williamston AD, Shlafer RJ, Sufrin CB. COVID-19’s Effect on Pregnancy Care for Incarcerated People. Health Equity. 2022;6(1):406-411. Published 2022 Jun 10. doi:10.1089/heq.2022.0035

Shlafer R, Gerrity E, Freeman-Cook R, Norris C, Sufrin C. Justice for Incarcerated Moms Act of 2021: Reflections and Recommendations. Women’s Health. 2022 Apr;18.

Asiodu IV, Beal L, Sufrin C. Breastfeeding in Incarcerated Settings in the United States: A National Survey of Frequency and Policies. Breastfeed Med. 2021 Apr 8. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2020.0410. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33835854.

Knittel A, Sufrin C. Maternal Health Equity and Justice for Pregnant Women Who Experience Incarceration. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Aug 3;3(8):e2013096. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.13096. PMID: 32761157; PMCID: PMC8084254.

Goshin LS, Sissoko DRG, Stringer KL, Sufrin C, Byrnes L.  Stigma and US Nurses’ Intentions to Provide the Standard of Maternal Care to Incarcerated Women, 2017American Journal of Public Health. 2020 Jan;110(S1):S93-S99. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305408.   

Goshin LS, Sissoko DRG, Neumann G, Sufrin C, Byrnes L. Perinatal Nurses’ Experiences With and Knowledge of the Care of Incarcerated Women During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing. 2019 Jan;48(1):27-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jogn.2018.11.002.  

Sufrin, C. Making Mothers in Jail: Carceral Reproduction of Normative MotherhoodReproductive Biomedicine & Society. 2018; 13(7): 55-65. doi: 10.1016/j.rbms.2018.10.018

Substance Use Disorder in Pregnancy and Incarceration

Kao, L., Parayil, T., Lee, C., Kramer, C., and Sufrin, C. Assessing Provision of MOUD and Obstetric Care in U.S. Jails: A content analysis of policies submitted by 59 jails. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2023;248:109877. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2023.109877

Sufrin C, Kramer CT, Terplan M, et al. Availability of Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Among Pregnant and Postpartum Individuals in US Jails. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(1):e2144369. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.44369

Sufrin CB, Knittel A. Health care and social justice implications of incarceration for pregnant people who use drugs. International Review of Psychiatry. Jun 2021.

King Z, Kramer C, Latkin C, Sufrin C. Access to treatment for pregnant incarcerated people with opioid use disorder: Perspectives from community opioid treatment providers. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2021 Jul;126:108338. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108338. Epub 2021 Feb 25. PMID: 34116823; PMCID: PMC8197773.

Sufrin C,  Sutherland L, Beal LS, Terplan MK, Latkin C, Clarke JG. Opioid Use Disorder Incidence and Treatment Among Incarcerated Pregnant People in the U.S.: Results from a National Surveillance Study. Addiction.  2020 Nov. 115(11): 2057-2065. doi: 10.1111/add.15030.

Ahlbach C, Sufrin C, Shlafer R. Care for Incarcerated Pregnant People With Opioid Use Disorder: Equity and Justice Implications. Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Sep;136(3):576-581. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004002

Peeler M, Terplan M, Fiscella K, Sufrin C. Best Practices for Incarcerated Pregnant women with Opioid Use Disorder. Journal of Correctional Health Care. 2019 Jan;25(1):4-14. doi: 10.1177/1078345818819855


Saloner B, Kramer C, Song M, Doan, B, Eber, G, Rubenstein, L, Sufrin, C. COVID-19 Restrictions in Jails, Prisons, and Other Facilities: Carceral Leaders Offer Their Perspectives. Health Affairs. 2023;42(6):841-848.

Song, M., Kramer, C.,Sufrin, C. B., Eber, G. B., Rubenstein, L. S., & Saloner, B. (2023). “It was like you were being literally punished for getting sick”: Formerly incarcerated people’s perspectives on liberty restrictions during COVID-19. AJOB Empirical Bioethics.  2023;1-12. doi:10.1080/23294515.2023.2180105

Kramer, C., Song, M., Sufrin, C. B., Eber, G. B., Rubenstein, L. S., & Saloner, B. (2023). COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy and uptake: Perspectives from people released from the Federal Bureau of PrisonsVaccine.

Sufrin, C., Kramer, C., Terplan, M. et al. Availability of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in U.S. Jails. J Gen Intern Med (2022).

Saloner B, Eber GB, Sufrin CB, Beyrer C, Rubenstein LS. A Human Rights Framework for Advancing the Standard of Medical Care for Incarcerated People in the United States in the Time of COVID-19. Health Hum Rights. 2022;24(1):59-75.

Friedman E, Burr E, Sufrin CB. Seeking recognition through carceral health care bureaucracy: Analysis of medical care request forms in a County Jail. Social Science & Medicine. 2021; 291: 114485. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114485

Jacobsen AP, Robledo-Gil T, Nahas-Vigon JH, Epstein JA, Berger ZD, Sufrin CB. Care for Incarcerated Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Jul;36(7):2094-2099. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06861-y. Epub 2021 May 5. PMID: 33954889; PMCID: PMC8099390.

Strodel R, Dayton L, Garrison-Desany HM, Eber G, Beyrer C, Arscott J, Rubenstein L, Sufrin C. COVID-19 vaccine prioritization of incarcerated people relative to other vulnerable groups: An analysis of state plans. PLoS One. 2021 Jun 15;16(6):e0253208. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253208. PMID: 34129620; PMCID: PMC8205184.

Lee JK, Burke AE, Thaler K, Robinson JA, Sufrin C. Oral sedation for pain with cervical dilator placement: a randomized controlled trial. Contracept X. 2021 Jan 7;3:100053. doi: 10.1016/j.conx.2020.100053. PMID: 33506195; PMCID: PMC7815458.

Gips J, Spiegel A, Norton A, Gandhi P, Hardenbergh D, Gatti J, Pugh L, Jones A, Sufrin C. Health Care in the Age of Mass Incarceration: A Selective Course for Medical Students in Their Preclinical Years. MedEdPORTAL. 2020 Nov 12;16:11014. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.11014. PMID: 33204838; PMCID: PMC7666831.

Golembeski CA, Sufrin CB, Williams B, Bedell PS, Glied SA, Binswanger IA, Hylton D, Winkelman TNA, Meyer JP. Improving Health Equity for Women Involved in the Criminal Legal System. Womens Health Issues. 2020 Sep-Oct;30(5):313-319. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2020.06.007.

Gross MS, Harrington BJ, Sufrin CB, Faden RR. Rethinking “Elective” Procedures for Women’s Reproduction during Covid-19. Hastings Cent Rep. 2020 May;50(3):40-43. doi: 10.1002/hast.1130. PMID: 32596901; PMCID: PMC7362104.

Hayes, C, Sufrin C, Perritt J. Reproductive Justice Disrupted: Mass Incarceration as a Driver of Reproductive Oppressions. American Journal of Public Health. 2020 Jan;110(S1):S21-S24. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305407.

Kuhlik L and Sufrin C. “Pregnancy, Systematic Disregard and Degradation, and Carceral Institutions.” Harvard Law and Policy Review. 14(2): 417-466.

Sznajder K, Carvajal DN, Sufrin C. Patient perceptions of immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception: A qualitative study. Contraception. 2020 Jan;101(1):21-25. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2019.09.007. Epub 2019 Oct 23. PMID: 31655067; PMCID: PMC7137099.

Bronson J and Sufrin C. Pregnant Women in Prison and Jail Don’t Count: Data Gaps on Maternal Health and Incarceration. Public Health Reports. 2019 May/June. 134(Supplement 1) 57S-62S.

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Dome: A Publication for the Johns Hopkins Medicine Family | Sufrin Recognized for Opioid Use Disorder Research | January 25, 2023.

The Nation | Sterilization Survivors Who Won Reparations Now Face Another Challenge—Getting It | January 3, 2023

Arizona Republic | Arizona inducing the labor of pregnant prisoners against their will | January 2, 2023.

Today | What giving birth in prison is really like: One mom’s story | December 20, 2022 

Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine | Incarcerated and Pregnant in Post-Roe America | October 26, 2022

Truthout | Being Pregnant in Prison Is a Nightmare That Won’t Be Ended by One Bill Alone | October 22, 2022

The Washington Post | Pregnant women were jailed over drug use to protect fetuses, county says | September 8, 2022

Huffington Post | Incarcerated Women Need a Place in Your Roe Outrage | June 16, 2022

The Appeal | What would the end of Roe v. Wade mean for Pregnancy Behind Bars? | May 5, 2022

North Carolina Health News | Accessing MAT in jail is an uphill battle for pregnant people | February 17, 2022

Atlanta Magazine | Incarcerated and invisible: What happens to pregnant people in Georgia’s county jails? | February 11, 2022

Well+Good | There are no Standards of Care for Pregnant People in Prison, and that Needs to Change | October 13, 2021

Rewire News Group | In Utah jails, a Rare Reproductive Rights Bright Spot Emerges | October 8, 2021

The PEW Charitable Trusts | Pregnant and Postpartum People Continue to Encounter Barriers to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment | September 9, 2021

Issues in Science and Technology | COVID-19 and Prisons | Winter 2021

The Washington Post | Nebraska corrections official resigns after inmate is denied abortion, citing ‘shame’ to public service | April 14, 2021

The Lily | A woman gave birth alone in a Kentucky jail. It’s a harrowing example of a bigger problem, experts say | February 24, 2021

The Washington Post | Covid-19 outbreaks at jails and prisons should make us rethink incarceration | June 25, 2020

Politico | How U.S. Prisons Became Ground Zero for Covid-19 | June 25, 2020

Metro Times | Proposed legislation could offer new protections for pregnant prisoners in Michigan | June 3, 2020

The Appeal | Pregnant woman in Pennsylvania jail denied release | May 11, 2020

USA Today | During COVID-19 crisis, prioritize release of pregnant inmates | May 9, 2020

New York Magazine | Cuomo’s Order to Release Pregnant Women From Prison Is a Sham | May 1, 2020

The Washington Post | Opinion: Larry Hogan can lead by addressing covid-19 in prisons and jails | March 25, 2020

Johns Hopkins Magazine | The Invisible Women | Winter 2019

NBC News | New law ends use of restraints on pregnant inmates as advocates push for more to be done | May 25, 2019

The Economist | Why some American states are locking up toddlers | May 23, 2019

UPI | Study: 90 percent of prison pregnancies end in live births | March 22, 2019

Rewire News | First-of-Its-Kind Study Fills in Decades-Long Blank About Pregnancy in Prison | March 21, 2019

NPR | Pregnant Behind Bars: What We Do And Don’t Know About Pregnancy And Incarceration | March 21, 2019

Huffington Post | Breakthrough Study Offers New Stats On Abortion And Birth In Prison | March 21, 2019

Associated Press | Study: About 4 percent of women are pregnant when jailed | March 21, 2019

Johns Hopkins Press Release | First of its Kind Statistics on Pregnant Women in U.S. Prisons | March 21, 2019

The Guardian | ‘I didn’t get arrested, I got rescued’: jail is a lifeline for some pregnant women | August 31, 2018

Rewire | Data Collected in Coordination with PIPS Contributes to Change in Cook County Policies | October 31, 2017

Rewire | ‘What We Do to Women Behind Bars’: A Q&A With ‘Jailcare’ Author Dr. Carolyn Sufrin | June 2, 2017

Public Health on Call | Jailed and Pregnant: What the Roe Repeal Means for the Incarcerated |  August 26, 2022

In America | Pregnancy, Prison, and the End of Roe | July 28, 2022

The Round Table: A Next Generation Politics Podcast (Spotify) | Reproducing Injustice | September 2021.

For a full list of scholarly publications, see PubMed database.