There's a documentary on iView at the moment about women in prison (in America) who are pregnant, and how this particular prison has a program where selected women are actually allowed to keep their babies with them in a separate area.
Usually the babies are taken away 24 hours after birth.
I'm only ~20 minutes in and finding this really hard to watch. The forced separation just seems like such an obvious source of trauma, whereas by keeping their babies in this controlled environment seems such a perfect opportunity for learning, maturation, and rehabilitation. And surely having this stable attachment and bond is in the best interests of the child, it's hard to fathom why this isn't the standard procedure.
Of course if the women are convicted of certain violent crimes or child abuse etc, or if they don't actually want to stay with the baby then they definitely shouldn't.
I know America places a greater emphasis on punishment rather than rehabilitation but what is essentially forced adoption borders on cruel and unusual to me.
Does anyone know what the procedure in Australia is?
Do you think the children are better off being taken away or staying with their mothers in prison?
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13-09-2012 21:18 #1
Mothers in prison
13-09-2012 21:22 #2
13-09-2012 21:26 #3
I lived in Sri Lanka when I was in highschool. One of the community service projects our school was involved in was visiting women and children at the women's prison. The women in this prison were in for minor-ish offences, such as theft, and generally had no one else to look after their children, so they went to prison with their mothers. I'm not sure whether they were educated, though I would assume there would be some form of schooling as education is considered very important over there. We would go after school one day a week and just play with the kids, though there were obvious language barriers, the children all seemed pretty happy and well cared for.
13-09-2012 21:27 #4
I watched this last night, and I was so inspired by the program -it has such positive implications for the mother, their babies and their families
13-09-2012 21:40 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
Re: Mothers in prison
I am in wa and know a little of the system here. There is a women's prison where babies up to 12 months can go, and a pre release centre where women and their children can live also.
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14-09-2012 16:18 #6
28-09-2012 22:18 #7-
- Join Date
- Jan 2011
The hospital I used to be at was the designated hospital for the women's prison. We had a midwife make visits once a week at the prison for antenatal clinic and then the women were brought to the hospital to give birth. Depending on the severity of their crime we would either have the prison guards just outside the birth suite room or we'd also have a female guard in the birth suite as well (One of the guards was very excited to tell me about the first birth she saw). They may or may not be restrained again depending on their crime/how much of a flight risk/risk to staff they were. The prison had a section were low-security women could keep their babies with them in almost a half-way house set-up until their were maybe 1 or 2. Maximum security/high risk had their babies taken off them at birth.
Not all women in the prison are the stereotypical criminal, they might have done something stupid like drug possession, drink driving, fraud etc as opposed to assault/murder/sex offender. That said from a family friend who is a police officer a lot of women after getting arrested try to fall pregnant so that when they present to court for sentencing, they hope that the judge will be lenient on their sentancing because they are now 4 months pregnant etc.
Last edited by wannawannabe; 28-09-2012 at 22:36.
29-09-2012 07:15 #8
I was watching an episode of this a few weeks ago and there was one chick in particular that was pregnant with, I think, her 8th child. Her other (7?) Children were placed in the care of family/friends/foster care and she had been in and out of jail half her life.. She had to give her baby up, due to a violent record, and shr wasn't sure whether the baby would come out black or white, because she cheated. The baby ended up being placed in temporary care with a lovely Amish couple and I found myself hoping that she would stay there permanently. With the.history of this mother, she was such a lost soul
But other than her, the rest of the mothers seemed to genuinely want to care for their babies and really change their lives on the outside. There was heartwarming moment where one lady in particular was pumping to exclusively breastfeed her little man that was in the care of the grandmother; most mothers in the real world wouldn't do that, let alone one that was in jail, it was beautiful!
It would be great if all jails were able to have this program, it really seemed to give these women hope that they could turn their lives around.
29-09-2012 07:23 #9
I remember watching a similar show last year, and while I do think *some* mothers should be aloud to have their bubs with them, I can't help but feel there is a fine line between who should and shouldn't be aloud to keep their kids with them.
I don't care to elaborate as I know most won't agree. So I'll leave it at that.
29-09-2012 18:50 #10Junior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
No i dont think prison is a place for a baby in anyway what so ever! i understand crimes commited could be something non violent but seriously other people in prison are not in there for doing nothing! it would be heart breaking not to have your baby with you but its not fair on the baby to be raised behind bars. they need constant stimulation and positive atmosphere around them not anything jail offers.
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