Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Pregnant in Prison: MD Legislation Proposes Alternatives

Play

Friday, December 17, 2021   

Maryland could become the second state in the nation to provide specific support for the health and well-being of incarcerated people who are pregnant and their newborns.

In the next General Assembly, a bill will recommend community-based alternatives to jail or prison for pregnant women with nonviolent offenses, for up to one year after the birth. Current Maryland law requires separating an incarcerated mother and infant after two to three days.

Del. Lesley Lopez, D-Montgomery County, is co-sponsoring the legislation, which she said would allow a child to be near his or her parent to bond in the first crucial year of life.

"I myself am going to deliver any day now, and so I'm looking ahead to those next few months of what it's like to bond with your child for a lifetime of parenting," she said. "And if we are a society that really puts a family as the center of what community means, then we need to emphasize that."

She said the Prevention of Forced Infant Separation Act is modeled after Minnesota's Healthy Start Act, which went into effect in August. That bill had bipartisan support, and Lopez said she thinks hers will, too, when the General Assembly convenes in January.

Anushka Vakil, who is working on the bill with the Maryland Justice Project on the bill, noted that infant bonding in the first year is biologically and socially important, and numerous studies show show babies who lack this contact can have serious issues later in life.

"From the research we have found," she said, "we know that when infants are separated at this really young age, it increases baby stress levels, these babies are more likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when they become adults, and a lot of these effects are permanent."

An estimated 58,000 pregnant people enter U.S. jails and prisons every year, according to research from the Prison Policy Initiative. In some state prison systems, it said, miscarriage, premature birth and cesarean section rates are higher than those for the general population.

Disclosure: Maryland Justice Project contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …


There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021