In September 2015, Clayton Wheat of Corizon Correctional Health asked Ashley Lovell, an East Alabama doula and childbirth educator, if she could provide childbirth classes to the women in custody at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women who were pregnant. He also reached out to the Minnesota Prison Doula Project to explore options for bringing gender responsive, trauma informed care to these women.
At the end of 2015, East Alabama Birth Village, the pre-cursor to Alabama Prison Birth Project, was incorporated and became a 501c3. We collaborated with the Minnesota Prison Doula Project to bring childbirth education and support to Tutwiler once per month, along with providing other birth-related services in East Alabama. In early 2017, EABV's board voted to focus solely on prison birth support in Alabama and changed the non-profit's name to The Alabama Prison Birth Project.
In December 2018, the APBP board voted to merge with Ostara Initiative, Inc., the home of the Minnesota Prison Doula Project, to create long-term stability and sustainability for our work in Alabama and elsewhere. The acquisition was completed on June 30, 2019, and APBP became a program of Ostara Initiative, Inc.
To improve the health of newborns birthed by women in custody while strengthening maternal bonds and maternal self-efficacy.
All mothers giving birth in Alabama's criminal justice system will have healthy births and will not be separated from their newborns, ensuring normal child development and promoting positive maternal change within.