By Samantha Kamman, Columnist
The Department of Corrections in Logan County, Illinois has been working closely with expecting inmates by developing a pregnancy wing to keep women and their babies safe. According to the Logan County Correctional Center authorities, there could be up to 17 incarcerated pregnant mothers at a time, and the prison has adopted measures to make conditions more humane in order to provide expecting inmates with necessary comforts. The women are allowed to remain in the pregnancy wing for the duration of their pregnancy and for a period of time after childbirth so they may receive treatment for postpartum. The pregnancy wing provides female inmates with all the comforts of home, and the rehabilitative approach is meant to help inspire confidence in their ability to act as mothers once they have served their time.
Sierra Copeland is an expecting mother in the prison, and she spoke on how she felt safe in the pregnancy wing.
“Transitioning from the regular intake to here, it’s such a major difference. It’s so much better. It’s like more comfortable, more help available, more support from other girls. It’s a homey environment.”
On top of pregnancy classes, the women are provided with material resources such as breast pumps, and the prison has adopted a new rule that allows new moms to breastfeed their babies during family visits. The close proximity each woman shares with one another in the wing also helps to encourage feelings of “sisterhood,” and the women are able to support each other through each of their pregnancies.
Speaking on the need for a pregnancy wing, Warden Austin Glen spoke of the facility’s commitment for keeping pregnant inmates safe during this vulnerable time.
“We support family unification and reunification. This helps to ensure overall wellness and safety of pregnancy residents.”