Idaho Inmate Just Gave Birth, What’s Next for the Baby?
Pregnancy in Prison
BOISE, Idaho. On Tuesday, Mar. 1, Shawte McGlothen gave birth while serving time in the Ada County Jail. Despite the unexpected and dangerous manner in which McGlothen's child entered the world, the baby girl named Adalynn was born healthy and beautiful.
On the unique nature of McGlothen's situation, Ada County Sheriff's Office noted that while "it is relatively common for us to have pregnant inmates in the Ada County Jail, it is incredibly rare for a baby to be born here."
But what happens next?
What Happens Next for Mom & Baby?
As news of baby Addalynn's rare arrival begins its inevitable fade from the spotlight, we're left to wonder what happens next for mom and baby? The reality is McGlothen's baby was taken from her a few hours after the featured photo was taken. It's but one of the many painful challenges faced by Idaho's post-partum incarcerated inmates.
The Gem State has three in-state female inmate facilities: the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center, the South Boise Women’s Correctional Center, and East Boise Community Work Center. According to the most recent data compiled by the Idaho Department of Correction,
70 percent of incarcerated women in Idaho have dependent children, and on average, 5 or 6 women are pregnant at any one time at the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center.
In response to the growing number of incarcerated mothers and pregnant inmate population, a 2017 report from KBOI announced a first-of-its-kind Idaho initiative aimed at "bridging the gap between their due date and their release date."
Connecting Incarcerated Idaho Mothers with Their Children
To reduce the strain experienced by incarcerated mothers and their families, the Dept. of Corrections "offers programs to strengthen the relationship between incarcerated mothers and their children, and to facilitate family reunification."
One example is Pocatello's Child Visitation Program. In Pocatello, the Dept. of Corrections provides a special visitation unit where mothers and their children can bond in a friendly space. The unit contains books, toys, and an outdoor play area.
While parenting from prison is hardly an ideal situation, our team is grateful to learn of the many ways incarcerated mothers and their children are supported by the state of Idaho.
Click here to learn more about the additional programs available to incarcerated Idaho mothers in a report issued by Idaho's Office of Performance Evaluations.
Keep scrolling for Idaho's reaction to the baby born in Ada County Jail on Mar. 2., 2023.