Do financial obligations levied on current and former incarcerated people penalize the poor? A majority of people locked up are either poor or unemployed, prior to incarceration, according to the Prison Policy Initiative’s compilation of data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Fines, fees, and restitution payments pile up for many people leaving prison, making it nearly impossible to find a way out of poverty. KBCS’s Yuko Kodama speaks with Alexes Harris, a University of Washington Sociology Professor who researched monetary sanctions on incarcerated people for her 2016 book, “A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as a Punishment for the Poor“. Harris shares her thoughts on inequality and the intersection of poverty and incarceration.
Being pregnant is a vulnerable time for a woman. But Imagine the thought of going into labor while incarcerated and the thought of handing your newborn over to the foster care system? Abigail Blue is the former executive director of The Birth Attendants: Prison Doula Project, which closed over 5 years ago, saw the plight of incarcerated pregnant women on a daily basis. During Washington state’s last legislative session, Governor Inslee signed a bill allowing volunteer midwives and doulas to be able to give incarcerated women pre-birth counseling and help them prepare for the temporary loss of their child. The bill takes effect June 7th, 2018.
Margerita Guzman is an inmate at Washington Correctional Center for Women in Gig Harbor who became locked up while pregnant. She shares her experience of giving birth behind bars and highlights issues mothers face while in the prison system with KBCS’s Yuko Kodama.
Producers Yuko Kodama and Ruth Bly