University of Hertfordshire

Pregnant female offenders behind bars: Pregnant female offenders behind bars

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Women and Crime
EditorsKelly Frailing
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2019


Between 4 and 10% of the worldwide female prison population are thought to be pregnant, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds. Historically, women expecting illegitimate children were sent to prison and some would “plead their belly” to prevent punishment. In recent years, the Bangkok Rules have set out specific guidance for how prisons should manage women, including those who are pregnant. Despite this, there are variations worldwide as to how long babies will remain with their mothers, with a number of women separated from their babies soon after giving birth.


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