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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 199984 Find in a Library
Title: Parenting Programs in Women's Prisons
Journal: Women & Criminal Justice  Volume:14  Issue:1  Dated:2002  Pages:131-152
Author(s): Joycelyn M. Pollock
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr on Crime, Communities and Culture
New York, NY 10106
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on a survey of parenting programs in women’s prisons.
Abstract: The rate of imprisonment among women is growing at a staggering rate. As such, it becomes imperative to examine parenting programs that are offered to women in prison. Such parenting programs range from classes on parenting to nurseries where imprisoned women can live with their infants during their prison terms. During the spring and summer of 1998, questionnaires were sent to correctional institutions in all 50 States. Forty States returned the questionnaires, which focused on changes in the women’s prison population since 1995, demographic information about the female inmates, information about children of female inmates, and information about the availability and types of parenting programs offered at each institution. Results revealed that approximately 60 to 85 percent of female prisoners had children, and at least 70 percent of female inmates had a child under the age of 18. Approximately 10 percent of female prisoners were pregnant on any given day. Eighty-five percent of the children of female inmates lived with their grandparents during their mothers’ incarceration period; only a very small fraction of the children resided with their fathers. Ninety percent of prisons offered some form of parenting classes, 73 percent had special visiting areas or separate days for children to visit their mothers, and 55 percent of the institutions had furloughs available to maintain familial bonds, but these furloughs were rarely utilized. Thirty-five percent of the States offered a community facility that allowed incarcerated mothers to live with their children while serving their sentence; only four States offered a prison nursery where inmate mothers could live with their newborns. In conclusion, the author notes that only a small percentage of female prisoners have access to parent enrichment programs or to prison facilities that would allow them to live with their children during their incarceration. Since women are entering State prisons at an increasing rate, State officials need to do more to address the problems mothers and children face when they are separated because of an incarceration. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Children of incarcerated offenders; Female inmates
Index Term(s): Female offenders; Inmate Programs; Parent education; Women's correctional institutions
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