Bethany Kotlar, MPH, PMP

Phone: 617-835-7949

Center of Excellence:

JIWC-specific areas of expertise: Incarceration and maternal health

Student opportunities available? Yes, for Harvard T.H. Chan students

Funding details: Through Harvard T.H. Chan CoE

What makes you passionate about this work?

“I began working with justice-involved women as a Chaplaincy Intern at Lee Arrendale State Prison in 2012. While there, I learned about the experiences of women who had been pregnant and given birth while incarcerated. In collaboration with the Chaplaincy team and Rollins School of Public Health, I designed and implemented pregnancy and postpartum-related programming for women incarcerated in Georgia state prisons. This initiative later grew into the nonprofit organization Motherhood Beyond Bars ( This work is incredibly important to promote and elevate the health and wellbeing of families impacted by incarceration in the United States. I am honored to be a part of it.”

What community-engaged JIWC work are you currently doing?

“I continue to work with Motherhood Beyond Bars, sitting on the board and advising on data collection and program evaluation activities.”

What research-practice collaborations are you the most excited to work on?

“I am recently very interested in re-entry and family reunification for justice-involved women with young children. I would love to collaborate with nonprofit organizations and departments of child and family services to explore barriers and opportunities to family unity for women re-entering their communities.”