Pregnant inmates will be able to spend more time with their baby.
Dubbed the “Healthy Start Act,” and effective Aug. 1, 2021, a new law authorizes the Department of Corrections to conditionally release for up to one year postpartum, an inmate who gave birth within eight months of the date of commitment; and for the duration of the pregnancy and up to one year postpartum, an inmate who is pregnant.
The department must develop policy and criteria for such conditional releases, which may include community-based programming providing prenatal or postnatal care, parenting skills classes, working at paid employment, seeking employment, educational programming, or chemical dependency or mental health treatment services.
A report is due to the Legislature by April 1 each year on the number of inmates released under this law and the duration of their release.
The law is sponsored by Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL-Roseville) and Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake).