Babies Behind Bars — Old jail facilities in San Mateo difficult for pregnant inmates (VIDEO)

San Mateo County's women's jail is not equipped for pregnant inmates to give birth or care for newborns. This video examines difficulties women and law enforcement officials face when babies are born behind bars.

The Women’s Correctional Center in San Mateo County houses between 100-130 female inmates — a handful of whom are pregnant. The outdated facility is not equipped for women to give birth there or for women and infants to live together. Thus, pregnant inmates must deliver in area hospitals and then send their children to live with friends or relatives until they complete their sentences or can be moved to a prison facility that can accommodate keeping women and newborns together.

San Mateo County is in the planning stages of building a new correctional facility, but this video examines the difficulties pregnant inmates face in the current facilities and the challenges they pose to the law enforcement system.

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  1. It’s really difficult for pregnant women to live in jail and to deliver the baby in jail. I agree that there must be a separate facility for pregnant women, something more conducive while they are pregnant. It’s also unhealthy for the growing baby to live in jail so the baby should be sent somewhere by their imprisoned moms.

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