Investment: In 2016, a $25,000 grant from the Medica Foundation provided crucial funding to the Minnesota Prison Doula Project (MnPDP) in rural Minnesota, which is a partnership between the University’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs and the Ostara Initiative.
Expanded scope: With the support of trained doulas, MnPDP promotes health and provides parenting and pregnancy support to incarcerated pregnant people and parents in Minnesota’s only women’s state prison in Shakopee, as well as county correctional facilities.
Impact: Trained doulas provide prenatal and birth care, education, counseling, and parent support programs to better nurture healthy parent-child relationships and increase parenting confidence and skills. A majority of the parents helped by the program will be released during the first year of their baby’s life, and many plan to care for their infant upon release.
Breaking new ground: In May of 2021, with Ostara Initiative’s backing, a groundbreaking program was made possible in Minnesota: a special kind of conditional release, through which parents who are incarcerated in Minnesota will be allowed to live with their new babies in community programs for the first year of their baby’s life.
With gratitude: Support from the Medica Foundation meets essential operating needs, builds outreach opportunities in underserved communities across the state, and invests in a unique model of compassionate care that has gained national recognition.