skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 156743 Find in a Library
Title: Pregnant, Addicted and Sentenced: Debunking the Myths of Medical Treatment in Prison
Journal: Criminal Justice  Volume:5  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:23-27
Author(s): E M Barry
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After examining the myths that underlie a policy of punitive incarceration for pregnant, drug-abusing female inmates, this article proposes a treatment regime for such offenders.
Abstract: One of the myths that underlies incarceration for pregnant, drug-abusing female offenders is that the threat of incarceration will deter substance-dependent women from using drugs or alcohol during their pregnancies. Another myth is that pregnant, substance-dependent women will be adequately detoxified and will receive ongoing treatment for substance abuse while incarcerated. A third myth is that pregnant, substance-dependent women will receive adequate maternity care while incarcerated. A fourth myth is that such women have no access to drug or alcohol while incarcerated. A fifth myth is that even if incarceration is not ideal, it is the only effective solution for handling the problems of pregnant, substance-dependent women. The author argues that treatment, rather than punishment, must be the primary focus of the response to these women. There must be an expanded use of model programs that have a treatment regime that targets the needs of pregnant, drug-abusing women. Additionally, there should be an emphasis on educating youth and the general public about the effects of drug and alcohol consumption on fetal development. Finally, rather than taking a punitive approach to pregnant, substance-dependent women by incarcerating them, corrections policymakers must seek solutions that focus on treatment and recovery.
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Drug abuse in correctional facilities; Female inmates; Inmate drug treatment; Pregnant drug abusers
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.