Prisoners: Pregnancy

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 29th November 2021.

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Photo of The Bishop of Gloucester The Bishop of Gloucester Bishop

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many women in prison aged (1) 18 to 24, and (2) 25 years or older, were pregnant while in custody in each of the last 10 years.

Photo of Lord Wolfson of Tredegar Lord Wolfson of Tredegar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

On 20 September the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published a new policy on pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units and maternal separation from children up to the age of two in women’s prisons, which contains a range of reforms for improving the care of pregnant women. The policy requires increased local and central data collection on self-declared pregnant women in our care, to ensure individuals are receiving the relevant support and to ensure policy is more informed.

We publish some of this data in the HMPPS Annual Digest of statistical information. We published the first of these on 29 July 2021, which showed that during the period July 2020-April 2021 an average of 26 women self-declared as pregnant each week.

This is a dynamic area of policy and we will continue to consider our central data collection as it develops.

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