Pregnant Behind Bars (2 x 60′) – Prison is not for the faint of heart. Doing hard time has the potential to really wear a person down, so imagine the toll it takes on a pregnant detainee. Just seven miles outside of downtown Chicago sits one of the country’s largest detention facilities; Cook County Jail is home to nearly 10,000 inmates awaiting trial, a growing segment of which is expectant mothers. This series explores the emotional, psychological and physical effects of pregnancy within prison walls.
At Cook County Jail, pregnant offenders are booked into Division 17, a separate treatment wing of the prison. However, this section of the jail also houses women who are coping with addiction and mental health issues, leaving expectant mothers vulnerable to additional stress and exhaustion.
In the premiere episode, viewers meet 31-year-old Jamie Scott, a mother of four, who must first pass a parenting class before getting the privilege of visits from her children. Another inmate featured is Victoria, a 26-year-old heroin addict who finds out upon intake that she is pregnant with her first child and must face the reality of how this will affect her future. And in hopes to reconnect with her 8-year-old daughter and better prepare for the birth of her son, 29-year old inmate Tanya requests a transfer to house arrest which will allow her to spend her nights at home.
In a prison well-known for housing some of the Chicago’s most dangerous criminals, these women must learn to deal with all the stresses of pregnancy at an even greater risk. In Division 17, each expectant mother becomes hyper-aware of the dangers they face while awaiting trial and pregnant.
Channel: Discovery Fit & Health
Producer: 20 West Productions
TX: 22nd August 2013