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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69646 Find in a Library
Title: Children of Incarcerated Women
Journal: Social Work  Volume:25  Issue:4  Dated:(July 1980)  Pages:298-303
Author(s): L Sametz
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the need for prison reforms to preserve the relationship between incarcerated mothers and their children.
Abstract: Women constitute 3.4 to 4 percent of the prison population; figures vary as to how many female inmates have children. Women offenders are often urged to put their children up for adoption or the offspring are placed in the custody and care of the State. Visitation is limited by prison security: glass walls eliminate any physical contact between child and parent, distance to the prison is great and visiting hours are short. Some foster parents restrict or cease correspondence between parent and child. Sometimes courts sever the parent-child bond by judging a paroled mother unfit because of her prison background. The article suggests prison reforms to meet the emotional and psychological needs of both the incarcerated mothers and their children. Maternity and childbirth centers should set up within prison facilities to eliminate pregnant inmates' travel to distant hospitals during labor and to end the forced separation of mother and newborn after delivery. Facilities should be provided for incarcerated mothers to rear their children in prison. Special busing programs to bring the children to the mothers should be instituted. Halfway houses are recommended where mothers could raise their children outside of the strict prison environment. Relocating women's prisons within city limits would cut down the travel time for children's visits. Finally, work-release programs should be developed for women prisoners. References and a chart are included.
Index Term(s): Child development; Children of incarcerated offenders; Correctional reform; Inmate Programs; Medical and dental services
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