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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78510 Find in a Library
Title: What Happens When a Mother Goes to Prison? - An Overview of Relevant Legal and Psychological Considerations
Author(s): S L Hoffman
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Eric Document Reproduction Service
Arlington, VA 22210
Sale Source: Eric Document Reproduction Service
P. O. Box 190
Arlington, VA 22210
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper points out that a basic difference between the incarceration of men and that of women is that women are often the sole or primary caretakers of children at the time they are arrested.
Abstract: The disposition of the children varies greatly among States, and may involve anything from a court-ordered termination of the mother's parental rights to a temporary and causal placement of the child in the home of a relative. The paper reviews the literature on attachment theory, then discusses the damage that may be done to young child by abrupt separation from its primary caretaker. It is suggested that for children under the age of 3 years, unless the mother has been abusive or grossly negligent in her child care, the best interests of the child may require that prisons provide nursery facilities so that infants can remain with their mothers for the period of incarceration or until the infants have outgrown the critical period for forming the attachment bond. The paper also contains a brief summary of the legal and psychological problems inherent in terminating parental rights upon incarceration and also in providing temporary care for these children in foster homes. A total of 25 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Child care services; Child development; Children of incarcerated offenders; Families of inmates; Female inmates; Women's correctional institutions
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Paper presented at the Third Annual Meeting of the American Psychology - Law Society, Snowmass, Colorado, June 26-28, 1977.
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