Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Since the mid-1980’s the U.S. women prison population has increased by more than 430%. More than 66% of incarcerated women are mothers. It was estimated that in the U.S. alone more than 250,000 minor children suffer from maternal separation due to incarceration. Similar trends of a growing number of children affected by maternal incarceration are also identified in Europe and other regions. We argue that, in this reality, Prison Nursery Programs, which allow children to accompany their mothers to prison, provide a valuable alternative. These programs, if properly implemented, can benefit not only the best interests of the child, but also the mother, the state and the general public.