Protective Custody: Captivating photo series of pregnant inmates 4 years ago

Protective Custody: Captivating photo series of pregnant inmates

As many as one in 25 women in state prisons and one in 33 federal prisons are pregnant when admitted to prison in the US, according to the Sentencing Project.

The majority of women entering prison pregnant, including those with relatively short prison sentences and charged with nonviolent crimes, are separated from their babies after giving birth.

Working to raise awareness about multiple issues that the incarceration of minimum security, pregnant inmates and their families face, photographer Cheryl Hanna-Truscott began a project called Protective Custody, in 2003.

Her documentary portrait series is about pregnant inmates entering the Washington Corrections Center for Women, which created a residential parenting programme for select, non-violent pregnant inmates with relatively short sentences.

Talking about the programme, Cheryl writes on her website, "After giving birth, the mothers maintain custody of their babies while serving relatively short prison sentences rather than being separated during this developmentally critical time. Healthy maternal-infant attachment is promoted in a protective, supportive, and safe environment."

Here are some of the captivating pictures of pregnant women and new mums from the series...

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