Tutwiler (2019)

  • Documentary
  • 34min

The number of incarcerated women in the U.S. has been increasing at an alarming rate. This intimate exploration of the lives of pregnant inmates at Alabama’s notorious Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women exposes the staggering crisis in incarceration today through rare access to and wrenching testimony from the pregnant women behind bars. Tutwiler houses an average of 45 to 50 pregnant inmates during the course of a year. The Alabama Prison Birth Project, started at Tutwiler in 2016, pairs those who are willing with doulas who give them ongoing support as they navigate their pregnancy and its aftermath. The reality of motherhood for these women is permeated with the profound loss of being separated from their newborns only 24 hours after delivering them. Chronicling the deeply felt connections both among the inmates and between the women and their doulas, this short examines how essential these relationships are to the survival of mother and child. KR