• pregnancy;
  • inmates;
  • perinatal outcomes;
  • low birthweight

The purpose of this study was to examine low birthweight (LBW) and fetal death rates for women incarcerated in a large county jail during their pregnancy. Additionally, medical and support services available to these inmates were reviewed. Jail records showed this population to be both medically and socially high risk. Analysis indicated that their LBW rate was statistically higher (p < 0.05) than that of the county or state, but comparable to a matched group residing in high-risk areas of the city in which many of these women resided. During the course of the study, numerous jail policies were identified which had the potential to negatively impact the health of these women and their pregnancy outcomes.