News & Updates Program Brief

Policy Brief: Integrating Obstetrical and Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum People in Prisons

May 25, 2021

The number of pregnant people with opioid use disorder (OUD) has been increasing in U.S. prisons and jails; as of 2016–17, one-quarter of pregnant people in prisons had OUD. In a new issue brief, Hendrée Jones, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and colleagues from UNC and the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women describe a FORE-funded initiative to help these people. Jenna’s Project — named after a woman who died from an opioid overdose shortly after being released from prison — offers incarcerated pregnant people with OUD or other substance use disorders an integrated suite of obstetrical services and substance use disorder treatment, including counseling, and helps help them sustain their recovery after their release. The program also helps find housing, jobs, or other resources.