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New Facility at Cook County Jail for Pregnant Inmates

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 10, 2010 3:45PM

2010_12_10_pregnant_inmate.jpg After two years and at a cost of $140,000, Cook County Jail has opened a new facility to provide medical care and counseling to pregnant inmates.

Of the approximately 800 women currently locked up at Cook County Jail, 14 are expecting, but over 325 inmates in the past 18 months have been incarcerated, with a dozen giving birth at Stroger Hospital during their stays at 26th and California. Thee new wing of the jail is staffed with a medical and nursing staff, case managers, mental-health professionals and substance-abuse counselors, in addition to correctional officers. The goal is to provide these women with parenting skills and help them maintain healthy pregnancies.

Expectant inmates who complete a month-long parenting class are rewarded with contact visits from other children they may have on the outside.