Center of Excellence: https://maternalchild.uic.edu/
JIWC-specific areas of expertise: Quality of health care and supportive services for JIWC in prisons and jails.
Student opportunities available? Yes, students can propose projects that involve JIWC or join existing projects. Individuals from other organizations can work collaboratively with our students and faculty on multi-site projects. Direct supervision or precepting of student projects in the area of justice involved women is primarily limited to students enrolled in the University of Illinois or individuals from other institutions or organizations who are doing joint projects with the UIC School of Public Health.
Funding details: Both extramural and internal funding available.
What makes you passionate about this work?
“My introduction to this issue came initially through my role as a clinician providing care to detainees in my maternal fetal medicine clinic at Cook County Hospital. I became part of a group that organized to eliminate shackling of pregnant and postpartum women in Illinois jails and prisons. Illinois was the first state to outlaw shackling in these groups. Subsequently, I was a founding member of Illinois Birth Justice, a group that offers support to pregnant and parenting JIWC in Illinois. I am also working with folks at other Schools of Public Health and with a diverse national group of doulas, clinicians, advocates and mental health providers that focuses on JIWC.”
What community-engaged JIWC work are you currently doing?
“I am an advisor to a project at the Illinois Ounce of Prevention, non profit that works to improve early childhood experiences and promote healthy child development. The project involves supplying doulas and support to JIWC in a variety of Chicago communities.”
What research-practice collaborations are you the most excited to work on?
“Work on improving prenatal care, health care, mental health supports, substance use services, family reunification and support for JIWC while simultaneously reducing the number of such women in Illinois, the US and globally.”
More about Dr. Mason:
“My clinical experiences inform my advocacy and research. I am happy to be part of any project where these skills and experiences can be of use.”