• Violet H. Barkauskas PhD, RN,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Violet H. Barkauskas is Associate Professor of Community Health Nursing in the School of Nursing of the University of Michigan. She has extensive experience in maternal and child health and public health nursing, including education, practice, and administrative positions in the United States and abroad. Among her academic credentials is a certificate in nurse-midwifery from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. Her current research interests are in the area of evaluation and health services research.

  • Lisa Kane Low CNM, PhD,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Lisa Kane Low received her BSN and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan. Her midwifery education was at the University of Illinois, and she became a CNM in 1986. She has held clinical, administrative, and teaching positions at Hutzel Hospital and the University of Michigan. Currently, she is a Lecturer in the School of Medicine and the Women's Studies Department at the University of Michigan. She continues clinical practice with the nurse midwifery service at the University of Michigan and focuses her research on women's and adolescents' experiences of childbirth.

  • Sheryl Pimlott MSW, PhD(c)

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Sheryl Pimlott is a doctoral candidate in the Departments of Psychology and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan and has been involved with women in the criminal justice system for more than 14 years. After receiving her MSW from Michigan in 1988, she implemented programs for women in and outside locked facilities. She has been a national consultant for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Michigan Department of Corrections. Currently, she has appointments at the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0482.


An experimental, community-based, residential program, focused on health promotion, was established in 1990 for incarcerated pregnant women with short-term sentences and histories of drug abuse in a large, midwestern metropolitan area in the United States. Infants resided with mothers after birth. Prenatal care, delivery, postpartum, and family-planning services were initiated and provided by a nurse-midwifery service. Community-based health care, job training, and drug rehabilitation were provided for women during pregnancy through the fourth postpartum month. Program participants' prenatal, delivery, postpartum, and neonatal health outcomes are presented and compared with those of incarcerated women in the same state prison system who experienced usual correctional facility care and support. Program participants represented a group of obstetrically high-risk women. Health outcomes for both groups of incarcerated women and their infants were similar and more optimal than would have been expected given their preexisting health conditions and risk factors.