Bodies in a Zone of Indistinction: a history of the Biomedicalization of Pregnancy in Prison



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S.1290-A/A.3373-A, Montgomery/Perry Anti-Shackling Bill, by Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblyman Nick Perry of the State of New York (passed 2009).

74 Texas Law, § 501.066 Restraint of Pregnant Inmate or Defendant, (passed Sept. 1, 2009).

75 Florida Bill, S.B. 524 Restraint of Incarcerated Pregnant Women (2012), by Senator Arthenia Joyner.

76 Chandra Kring Villanueva, “Mothers, Infants and Imprisonment: A National Look at Prison Nurseries and Community-Based Alternatives,” Women’s Prison Association, Institute on Women & Criminal Justice (2009), 10.

77 M. W. Byrne, L.S. Goshin, and S.S. Joestl, “Intergenerational Transmission of Attachment for Infants Raised in a Prison Nursery,” Attachment & Human Development 12, No. 4 (2010), 375-393.

78 Villanueva, “Mothers, Infants and Imprisonment,” 7.

79 Ibid., 15.

80 Joseph R. Carlson Jr., “Prison Nurseries: A Pathway to Crime-Free Futures,” Corrections Compendium 34, Issue 1 (Spring 2009), 17-24.

81 Ibid.,

82 * In support of prison nurseries, Gilad and Gat note that sending a child to foster care cost about $40,000, while keeping them at a prison nursery averages to $11,000. Lastly the state can save about $29,000 per woman each year by lower their recidivism rate. See Michal Gilad and Tal Gat, “U.S v. My Mommy: Evaluation of Prison Nurseries as a Solution for Children of Incarcerated Women,” New York University Review of Law and Social Change 36 (2012), 32.

83 * Although prison nurseries existed intermittently in U.S. prisons as early as the 1840s, they were often insufficiently staffed and overcrowded. Through fostering inmates’ maternal feelings and contributing to a domestic environment, wardens believed then (as they do now) that they could reform inmates’ character. See Freedman, Their Sisters’ Keepers, 48 and 95.



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