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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 140822 Find in a Library
Title: Mothers and Babies in Prison
Corporate Author: National Assoc for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO)
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Assoc for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO)
London, SW9 0PU
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This report quotes the prison rule in Great Britain that allows mothers to be with their babies in prison, reviews the statistics on female inmates with babies of various ages up to 14 months, describes facilities for mothers and their babies, and notes the problems and how policymakers have responded to them.
Abstract: Prison Rule 9 states that "The Secretary of State may, subject to conditions he thinks fit, permit a woman prisoner to have her baby with her in prison and everything necessary for the baby's maintenance and care may be provided there." Of the 12 custodial establishments for women and girls in England and Wales, three currently have facilities for mothers and their babies. These provide places for 39 mothers with their babies. The units at Holloway and Styal prisons each have 12 places where babies may stay until they are 9 months old, although this is currently under review by the Home Office. The unit at Askham Grange, an open prison, has 15 places where babies may stay until they are 18 months old. There are plans to open a unit at New Hall prison, which would provide an additional nine places. All the units are jointly staffed by nurses and prison officers. The most recent study (1988) on babies who spend time with their mothers in prison found evidence of a gradual decline over time in the intelligence and locomotor development of babies who stayed in a mother-and-baby unit for 4 or more months. The report concludes that this slow development is due to the lack of adequate physical provisions and professional support in the units compared to modern standards of residential child care. The House of Commons Social Services Committee has recommended that the Home Office establish better domestic environments for women offenders with young children and that the Parole Board treat pregnant women and women with young children more sympathetically when considering applications for parole. 2 tables
Main Term(s): Prison nurseries
Index Term(s): Children of incarcerated offenders; Female inmates; Foreign correctional facilities
Note: A NACRO Briefing
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