What happens when babies are born behind bars in Cuyahoga County - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

What happens when babies are born behind bars in Cuyahoga County?

Corrections officer inside the Cuyahoga County jail. (Source: WOIO) Corrections officer inside the Cuyahoga County jail. (Source: WOIO)

At any one time up to 10 percent of the inmates in the Cuyahoga County jail are pregnant, so what happens when a woman is pregnant behind bars?

Investigator Dani Carlson got inside the maternity unit of the jail and sat down with the medical director of the Cuyahoga County Corrections facility to talk about the specific challenges both the mothers and their caretakers face in what the medical director calls the very definition of a high risk pregnancy. 

And the issue of women pregnant behind bars isn’t just a local one, it’s a national one. 

According to a study by the Pew Charitable Trust, there are 2.7 million children under age 18 with a parent behind bars. The same study states that number means that “1 in every 28 children in the United States - more than 3.6 percent—now has a parent in jail or prison.

Just 25 years ago, the figure was only 1 in 125.

Since so many children have one or both parents incarcerated a popular children’s television show has even tackled the topic. 

That story tonight at 11.  

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