On the morning of September 11, 2011, Krystal Moore thought she was dying. Sharp pain stabbed at her stomach, so much so that she curled up into a fetal position on her bed. She didn’t know what was happening. Though she was pregnant, she was only six months along, not nearly ready to give birth.
She couldn’t simply call the family doctor. She was an inmate, serving time at the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee, Illinois, for smoking marijuana while on probation. But in the early hours of that Sunday morning, her pain was escalating quickly.
“I woke up hurting,” she told RH Reality Check. “I tried to get in the shower, and I couldn’t.”
The Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that in 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, 1.7 million children had a parent in state or federal prison.
But since women inmates are more likely than males to have been their children’s primary caregivers, those children are often displaced — either sent to live with family members outside the home or placed in state care.
In addition, the comparatively limited number of women’s facilities — there are 28 federal women’s prisons, versus at least 83 for men — means that women often end up farther from their homes and families, compounding the strain of maintaining healthy relationships while they’re serving time.