Distributor:  The Fanlight Collection
Length:  58 minutes
Date:  2009
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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A Sentence for Two

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The film contrasts the stories of prison inmates who are forced to give their newborn baby up with a prison nursery where infants spend the first year of life alongside their mothers.

A Sentence for Two

Pregnancy inside this Oregon prison for women is anything but a joyous celebration of new life. Women who deliver their babies in prison have few options; if they can't find a family member to care for the infant, they will need to place it in foster care, or choose adoption. In any case, the newborn will be separated from its mother at birth, with a very real possibility that the two will never be reunited.

Christina, Trisha and Kristin are pregnant, and are facing years behind bars. Their newborns will face an uncertain future. The three women share the personal details of their pregnancies, incarceration and deliveries as they struggle with the agonizing search for safe and healthy homes for their babies and as one plan after another falls apart. A fourth inmate, Tangerine, adds the perspective of someone who has already been through it.

By contrast, a few states have prison nurseries where inmates can keep their newborns with them. The documentary visits Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York, where Dr. Mary Byrne of Columbia University has been studying the development of babies during their first year of life inside a prison environment. As the number of women in prison continues its dramatic rise, her findings may have a major impact on planning to better meet the needs of incarcerated women and their babies.

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** Northwest Film and Video Festival
** Eugene International Film Festival
** Portland Women's Film Festival
** Emory University Workshop on Women,
** Incarceration and Human Rights
** Portia Project Symposium,
** Families in the Criminal Justice System
** University of Oregon Law School,
** Seminar on Women in Prison


Main credits

Jacobs, Randi (Director)
Jacobs, Randi (Screenwriter)
Dixon, Dee (Screenwriter)

Other credits

Director of photography, Sal Collura; editor, Kelcey Boyce; original music, Mark Alan.

Distributor credits

Randi Jacobs

Docuseek2 subjects

Criminal Justice, Law and Legal Studies
Maternal and Child Health
Alcohol, Drugs and Substance Abuse
Women's Studies

Distributor subjects

Access, Rights and Realities
Closed Captioned
Community and Public Health
Criminal Justice
Ethical Dilemmas
Fanlight Collection
Issues and Ethics
Parenting and Childbirth
Substance Abuse / Addiction
Women's Health
Women's Studies


film ; video; documentary; DVD; pregnant; pregnancy; corrections facility; prison; adoption; foster care; incarceration; women; women's health; inmate; newborn baby; newborn; nursery; nurseries; Columbia University; Bedford Hills; Mary Byrne; Oregon; New York; infant; infant care; neonatal care; neonatal,"A Sentence for Two",The Fanlight Collection

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