The Michigan Prison Doula Initiative Statement of Values
Integrity and Propriety
The Michigan Prison Doula Initiative holds its board, organizing members, and volunteers to the highest standards of personal conduct. Throughout every facet of our program, we are intent on adherence to professional and personal sincerity, trustworthiness, empathy, fairness, and decency.
The overarching purpose of the program is providing informed, nurturing care to the pregnant and birthing mothers involved with the MDOC. Support shall be physical, emotional, and mental, and shall be offered with gentleness, understanding, empathy, and evidence-based knowledge and practices surrounding the intersection of motherhood, birth, and incarceration. Though our aim is to support pregnant and birthing mothers, it is our belief that all individuals involved with the MDOC should be met with similar standards of care, as well as evidence-based resources for positive healthcare outcomes and successful reentry.
The personal, emotional, and bodily safety of the birthing women, and the personnel of MPDI, WHV, MDOC, and Saint Joseph Mercy are of utmost importance. Strict compliance to all standing and newly-developed policy directives and procedures is required by all staff and volunteers. Disregard for the safety of anyone involved in this process will not be tolerated.
Personal biases and insensitivity shall be mitigated and upheld with cultural sensitivity trainings for all MPDI staff and volunteers. Biases in medical and doula practices will be evaluated using IRB-approved research methods, and efforts will instated to reduce discrepancies found in doula practices and healthcare. Support will never be altered or reduced based on a patient’s criminal history, race, gender/gender identity, religion, age, socioeconomic status, level of incarceration or security risk, sexual orientation, or personal belief. All staff and volunteers understand that additional sensitivity is required for post-natal separation and postpartum prison reentry.
All MPDI personnel will attend Confidentiality Counseling, in which the confidentiality agreements for medical and carceral interactions are studied and understood before being signed. Additionally, members of the organization are required to sign DONA and MPDI confidentiality agreements. Non-compliance with institutional and personal privacy will result in immediate dismissal and possible legal action.