The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has released an internal review of health care in Ontario jails after an inmate gave birth in an Ottawa jail cell nearly a year ago.

It makes 21 recommendations in all on issues including staffing levels, governance, oversight and women's health.

Two of the recommendations relate to pregnant inmates.

Cornwall woman Julie Bilotta gave birth to a son in a jail cell at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre in September last year.

She told CBC News her cries for help were ignored when she went into labour.

While the review did begin after the incident, a spokesman for the ministry said the internal review is not directly related to her case.

The two recommendations for dealing with pregnant inmates include:

  • Developing standard policies and practices of care for women before and after birth.
  • Assembling a multidisciplinary team of corrections staff to engage with pregnant women and keep hospitals and support agencies in the loop. Jails will each year review its policies for pregnant women and those who have recently given birth, and topics will include planning for care, breast feeding and contact visits.

Other recommendations include:

  • Providing support for female inmates who are likely to harm themselves.
  • Re-allocating vacant resources to expand complement of mental health nurses.
  • Increasing training for jail staff.

You can view the entirety of the review below.

Review of Health Care Services in Ontario Correctional Services by cbcottawa