Jacqueline Williams is a mother, advocate, and program developer focused on families involved with the carceral system and reducing our reliance on prisons and jails. In 2017, she co-founded the Michigan Prison Doula Initiative, which is now one of three functional prison doula programs in the country. She is currently on the steering team for legislation around the conditions of confinement for pregnant people and caretakers of children, and is the lead director of the Pregnancy Diversion Program, a community-based supportive housing alternative for pregnant people involved in the justice system.
Despite rising rates of female incarceration, there is a paucity of data regarding the outcomes and experiences of pregnant women in the carceral system. Mothers who are incarcerated are often situated squarely where familial and societal safety nets have failed. The nature of incarceration, including social isolation, near-immediate mother-infant separation, impossibility of a breastfeeding relationship, […]