The Incarcerated Pregnancy: What is the experience of being pregnant in an English prison?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Little is known about the experience of being a pregnant woman in prison. In the UK there are approximately 4000 women in prison at any one time and between 6 and 7% are estimated to be pregnant (Ministry of Justice, 2015). Pregnancy is an emotional event in a woman’s life and the problems associated with this vulnerable population are compounded within a total institution of incarceration. My Doctoral research is adopting an interpretive (qualitative) framework, using two techniques with the aim of accessing the conditions under which women are journeying through their pregnancy. A pregnant woman may be particularly vulnerable within the prison estate and my initial findings from interviewing women and observing prison routine demonstrate that this vulnerability can be compounded by the environment. A variety of emotions from despair to acceptance and helplessness to resilience are emerging from early data analysis after interviewing childbearing women in prison. This presentation will illuminate some of these experiences and will include my own reflections of the complexities of ethnographic research in a prison and some of the difficulties in remaining objective when interviewing women who are vulnerable.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016
EventPrison Research Network Annual Conference - Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Apr 201615 Apr 2016


ConferencePrison Research Network Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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