From the Seattle Times:
The doulas, members of an Olympia-based doula group called The Birth Attendants, work with the entire prison population as well as the prison’s Residential Parenting Program, which helps pregnant inmates and new mothers maneuver their way through childbirth and beyond.
“We’re not there to pass judgment,” but to educate, said doula Zimryah Barnes, who is part of the prison-doula project. “We don’t deny anybody support who requests it.”
Barnes and other members of The Birth Attendants have become a familiar resource around the prison since they brought the concept to prison officials in 2002. Barnes said the program is based on a similar one in prisons in the United Kingdom.
The doulas offer one-on-one counseling sessions and courses on sex education and family planning. Some doulas even are present when inmates travel to a Tacoma hospital to deliver their babies. Many of those inmates are allowed to raise their children inside the prison as long as they follow strict behavior guidelines.
Read the rest of the piece here. Yay Birth Attendants! Luckily I have heard rumblings of a few other projects like this one cropping up, which is really important. I also learned recently that while the United States only accounts for 5% of the world’s population, we are responsible for 25% of the world’s prison population. Scary.
Thanks to Feministing reader Amanda for the link