26 Hastings Women's L.J. 65 (2015)
Infants in Orange: An International Model-Based Approach to Prison Nurseries

handle is hein.journals/haswo26 and id is 79 raw text is: 










    Infants in Orange: An International Model-Based

                                 Approach to Prison Nurseries

                                                     Jennifer Warner*

                            I. INTRODUCTION

    The topic of incarcerated mothers hit popular media when Orange is
the New Black was released as a new, controversial Netflix series. In the
middle of the first season, supporting character Maria Ruiz goes into labor
while incarcerated, is sent to a hospital for the birth, and returns with empty
arms to receive much sympathy from her fellow inmates.' Orange is the
New Black did not explicitly critique the prison policy, but it seems evident
from Maria Ruiz's outward depression and the other women's conduct that
both viewers and incarcerated women alike view this as a painful process.2
This scene was not just for our entertainment-it is a reality for over one
thousand female inmates in the United States annually.3 Specifically, 4.1
percent of state prison inmates and 2.9 percent of federal prison inmates are
pregnant at the time of admission.4 Commonly, women in the U.S. who
have babies while in prison are separated from them within a few days.5

    *Executive Editor, 2014-2015; J.D. Candidate 2015, University of California, Hastings
College of the Law; B.S., Political Science, Santa Clara University, 2012. 1 would like to
thank Professor Hadar Aviram for her guidance through the writing process and inspiring
me to research prison nurseries from an international perspective. Special thanks to my
parents, family, and friends for their love and support.
   1. Orange Is the New Black: Episode 8, Moscow Mule (Netflix, July 11, 2013). Orange
is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series, which revolves around Piper
Chapman, an upper-middle class woman who was sent to prison ten years after smuggling
drugs. Id. Once in prison, Piper reunites with her former girlfriend and experiences the
realities of being an incarcerated woman. Id.
   2. Beatrice Codianni, Former Prisoner: Orange Is The New Black Is Not Funny,
TRUTHOUT (Sept. 3, 2014, 9:31 AM), http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/25957-former-
inmate-orange-is-the-new-black-is-not-funny. Although Codianni's article stresses that
'Orange is the New Black' is painfully far from the truth, she also points out that the
writers forgot to include the bit of truth associated with losing their children because of
our nation's failed war on drugs. Id.
   3. In 1998, 1,400 female inmates gave birth while incarcerated.  U.S. Gov'T
ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE, GAO/GGD-00-02, WOMEN IN PRISON: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
CONFRONTING U.S. CORRECTIONAL SYSTEMS 58 (1999), available at http://www.gao.gov/
archive/2000/gg00022.pdf [hereinafter GAO REPORT].
   4. Medical Problems of Prisoners, BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS, http://www.bjs.gov/
content/pub/html/mpp/tables/mppt10.cfm (last visited Oct. 8, 2014).
   5. Joseph R. Carlson Jr., Prison Nurseries: A Pathway to Crime-Free Futures, 34
CORRECTIONS COMPENDIUM 1, 17 (2009), available at http://www.castonline.iistu.edu/


HASTINGS WOMEN'S LAW JOURNAL

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