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View Poll Results: do you think babies should be raised behind bars?
yes 55 41.67%
no 77 58.33%
Voters: 132. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:15 PM
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Default Babies behind bars- Should pregnant women keep their babies in prison?

do you think pregnant women should be able to raise their babies in jail?

please express your opinions...
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:25 PM
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I'm watching that show now too. I think if women go in pregnant and have very little time they should be able to keep their babies with them after they deliver. I do think it should be strict restrictions on who is allowed to participate based on crime, previous history, & jail sentence. I also think its good to help unexpeirenced women learn how to take care of their children & maybe give them some sort of support system even if only for a few months that they might not be able to have on the outside.

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Old 02-25-2011, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tchavon1984 View Post
do you think pregnant women should be able to raise their babies in jail?

please express your opinions...

Is this in general or specifically the TV show on right now? I found the stats interesting, a child with an incarcerated parent is 7X more likely to offend. Is that of both parents or the usual absent father? The fact about how many women enter the system pregnant and with so many babies already in the system(fostered, adopted, custody with family) it bears looking into.

That said, I liked the program, so sorry it is only a 10 bed program. That leaves 50 disgruntled preggies in GP and I could see that leading to some violence or other disruptions. A few looked like they were pg with twins at least.One momma was on her 8th baby and only 35.

Do we know of this in other states at all?
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Gingertrail View Post
Is this in general or specifically the TV show on right now?

in general...
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tchavon1984 View Post
in general...


In general I think it's a limited program and it seems they have it in study right now, who knows the long tern effects though. I see the Indiana program has them birth to 18 months, it seems like a good length to have them in a nursery setting. Most babies by 18 months are fully toddlers, walking, running and climbing so they wouldn't be well served in a dorm setting, even if they are outside their cells part of the day. They also would be very verbal and have more memory so they could conceivably remember their young incarceration.

I'd like to see how other state programs handle it and how it worked out. For first time moms who may be first time inmates it seems like a good deal, they can retain rights to their child and maybe learn to avoid crime and prison for good. For some moms this may be the first baby they have a chance to keep/raise and that may help them stay clean/crime free.

Do you feel it is a good program? Is it too narrowly applied, maybe more moms could be included? I can see it expanding if it works well and there is funding for it. Anything that keeps familes together and out of the "sysytem" is a good one in my book. This is such a good subject, thanks for starting the thread.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:12 AM
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That's a really hard question. For the mothers and the bonding I think it's a good idea, but at what point do they have to leave? It would be hard to let the baby go. I don't think the kids should miss out on going to the park, the zoo, and seeing family either. That would be an extremely hard decision for me. I guess to each their own, depends on the situation.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:24 AM
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That's a really hard question. For the mothers and the bonding I think it's a good idea, but at what point do they have to leave? It would be hard to let the baby go. I don't think the kids should miss out on going to the park, the zoo, and seeing family either. That would be an extremely hard decision for me. I guess to each their own, depends on the situation.
There is time limit, Indiana was a total of less than 18 months of time remaining on their sentences. One women in the show was 8 weeks pg and one delivered a few weeks after she was accepted into the program, both had less than 18 months to serve.

There are only 6 states that offer this type of program and the are all on short-term inmates so the babies are gone within the first months of life. I haven't seen any programs, even in India where I think they stay til age 5 or so, that have the children in for any great length of time.


If they stay with mom they still have visitation, that would include dad and other sibs. It is by no means a great idea to be pg in prison but if it helps someone get a grip on reality, that they need to get clean and choose a better path I like it.

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Old 02-25-2011, 04:25 AM
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http://www.wpaonline.org/pdf/Mothers...ent%202009.pdf


This is some good info on this type of program.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:16 AM
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NO WAY! I do not think that a kid should be raised like that, hell no, they deserve to live life, be a kid, experience things children are supposed to experience, go camping, go to the zoo, have a sleep over with all ur friends watching scary movies and throwing popcorn at eachother. Roasting marshmellow's, swinging on a swing, playing tag with the other kids...If i ever found myself in jail for a long time if i was pregnant, i would find someone else to raise the child and if no one would, there is always adoption...but i would never do that to my baby. That's not fair. That's just me...
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:46 AM
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I think that the bond between mother and child is very important. Especially in the first year. I think that the benefits by far outweigh the negative.

Of course there has to be limits. That's a given. Kids adapt. Example our 2 1/2 year old thinks seeing Dad at the 'place' is normal. She has a bond with him.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:33 AM
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no.no.no.the consequences of incarceration is being away from your loved ones-even the babies that are birthed while in prison.ALL FOR THE SAKE OF BONDING??any mother who brings her child it into a prison (to live) isnt thinking about the well being of the child-maybe having your baby with you is the biggest distraction a new mother is gonna get...however getting back to that child would be a greater motivation to walk the straight line,i believe.is this gonna be the new trend for pregnant women who are incarcerated?its not fair or funny that an innocent child will grow up to say"hey i was incarcerated at birth".given the nursery and safety precautions for the babies,i dont think a prison housing babies is much better than an undercover strip joint in the home or a time release dope house...you know, where the occupants only do dope(or strip) when the children are asleep or outside.would any mother accept this?i should hope not.IMHO
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:52 AM
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I havent answered the question yet bcuz I'm honestly on the fence about it I see where it would benefit the mother but is it really fair to the child I'd have to see more info on success rates but being that this program is fairly new it would be a while before they have an accurate rate of success to failure.... I dont know one min I'm like yes the next I'm like no I'm tryin to put myself in that situation but I just dont know
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:39 PM
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Children aren't being "raised" in prison, they are born there yes, however they will not live out there lives there, and won't even remember it because our brains are not equipped to remember back that far, and the time they are actually living in prison is only a few months of their lives.
The benefits far outweigh the cons of this type of situation, there are very strict requirements, and the mothers receive great parenting skills which they probably would not get on the streets. Not to mention the bonding process that occurs between mom and baby, if mom is truly bonded to her child the chances of her re-offendind which would cause her to be separated from her child is less...not impossible, but less.
Indiana has done a good job of doing the research for and against...and what they've found is that mothers' who go through this program...are less likely to re-offend...so I voted yes...it it were me I would want the opportunity to keep my child with me.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:44 PM
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Children aren't being "raised" in prison, they are born there yes, however they will not live out there lives there, and won't even remember it because our brains are not equipped to remember back that far, and the time they are actually living in prison is only a few months of their lives.
The benefits far outweigh the cons of this type of situation, there are very strict requirements, and the mothers receive great parenting skills which they probably would not get on the streets. Not to mention the bonding process that occurs between mom and baby, if mom is truly bonded to her child the chances of her re-offendind which would cause her to be separated from her child is less...not impossible, but less.
Indiana has done a good job of doing the research for and against...and what they've found is that mothers' who go through this program...are less likely to re-offend...so I voted yes...it it were me I would want the opportunity to keep my child with me.

That is true, I think people get the wrong idea about the programs. It isn't that a sentence is given to the child and they are looking out of a cell for 10 years, or even 5 years. The program taken very few women( less than 20 at a time), they are in an isolated are, away from GP and are totally raised as babies.


The moms stay when they are pregnant, deliver at the hospital and come "home" to a large single room, with a crib, nursery furniture and linens just as in a home setting. The one program in Indiana has 10 moms, 4 nannies(inmates) that help the moms while they attend school, NA/AA or the parenting classes. They do their baby's laundry, have access to a private yard area and their needs are being met while they become the parents they are truly capable of being. They encourage breastfeeding and they bond in a way a regular mom on the outside would love to do.


They are all 18 months or less when they return home. If you have kids you know what they are like at that age. They want to be loved,carried and played with. You know they will have very little, if any recall of their lives behind bars. But the moms will have a strong beginning with their babies that will last a lifetime, and hopefully stop the cycle of incarceration.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:25 PM
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I can see the pros & cons. I think the length of time left of sentence should be less. Maybe 6mths to 12mths. Also, the safety of the babies (searches by COs, retaliation & envious prisoners), conditions in prisons (heating, cooling, mold); Prisoners proper nurishment during pregnancy & afterwards (some prisoners barely get the meds that they need to survive, let alone prenatal; disease outbreaks, etc. I know, as mother, it would break my heart to part w/my child at anytime, especially at birth. Bonding for the benefit of the mother & child, I'm all for it as long as child neglect & endangerment is completely isolated from the child.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:39 PM
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I saw something about that awhile ago. How sad. The one I saw (can't remember what state), the women/babies were in a safe environment and it was for a limited amount of months. I am all for it for the sake of the babies, it is good for bonding with their mothers.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:49 PM
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I saw something about that awhile ago. How sad. The one I saw (can't remember what state), the women/babies were in a safe environment and it was for a limited amount of months. I am all for it for the sake of the babies, it is good for bonding with their mothers.

Was it on TV, there was a show about it on TLC channel. That was the Indiana women's prison. 10 women, 10 babies and 4 nannies in a special unit plus very loving CO's. They even mentioned to one women, why did she let the (evil) CO even touch her baby? Well, she said they only know love at that age and they baby was well adjusted so they may pick only certain CO's to work in that unit.


All in all I do like the idea.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:56 PM
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I can see the pros & cons. I think the length of time left of sentence should be less. Maybe 6mths to 12mths. Also, the safety of the babies (searches by COs, retaliation & envious prisoners), conditions in prisons (heating, cooling, mold); Prisoners proper nurishment during pregnancy & afterwards (some prisoners barely get the meds that they need to survive, let alone prenatal; disease outbreaks, etc. I know, as mother, it would break my heart to part w/my child at anytime, especially at birth. Bonding for the benefit of the mother & child, I'm all for it as long as child neglect & endangerment is completely isolated from the child.

I think when the study results of this become know I really hope the implement it in more prisons, for all pregnant women. I can see not women who have violent convictions, abuse of their own children, etc. They do test for pregnancy when they are admitted so they know who is pregnant and it must just be a matter of cost and services.

The Indiana program encouarges breastfeeding so I assume the moms are given more food, better nutrition to support their milk production. This entire subject is very interesting. I know only a few states do it, I wonder when if at all the others will get on board?
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:15 PM
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I honestly don't think so because the environment just isn't what a baby should be around--I mean, I guess they don't really know much or will remember because they are so young, but it will be just super hard for a mother to love their baby inside than outside of prison.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:05 PM
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I voted yes because it is very important for an infant, a baby, and even older children to have that physical love and strong emotional bond with their mother regardless of where their mother is. If an infant does not receive physical touch (cuddling, kissing) from a mother figure, many various mental problems could be the result, such as abandonment issues, borderline personality disorder exc. I cannot stress how important contact with the mother is during the child's first few months of life and through-out life. Not having that vital relationship is FAR worse than the environment of prison. Plus, I know some prisons have nurseries, which don't even look anything like a stereotypical prison, where the mother and her baby can go spend time together.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:58 PM
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I voted yes because I think it is important to establish the mother child bond right off. If the baby is torn from the mother at birth, or shortly after, that chance is gone. I think that if there is a safe area established for mothers and their babies to be then there is no problem. I think having the children stay until 18 months old is good. Then the child can stay with a family member until the mother is released and will, at least, know who s/he is visiting on visiting day. I honestly don't think the child is going to be aware of where h/she is and as long as h/she is being fed, has a place to sleep, is held, loved and cared for. A baby needs that mother's love and that is what is important. I think, too, that if the bond is established the mother is going to strive to get out as quickly as possible to be with her child.

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Old 03-14-2011, 11:35 AM
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I think that if a woman will be out in a reasonable amount of time and they want to keep their baby, it would be best for both of them. They need to bond and it might help the mother be more responsable when she does get out.

In Iowa where my daughter is (and pregnant with twins), they remove the baby to foster care after only 2 days (2 days after their born). I see only big problems with this for mother and child.

My 2 cents
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:48 AM
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Default I'm on the fence too????

Okay I am having the "on the fence" issue too - the "pros and cons"

Great Topic OP!

Coming from someone that was in prison I understand the sadness that comes with leaving your children behind when you go to prison but the FACTS are the FACTS - women commit crimes every day and go to prison for them - what about the men who want to see their child???? Prison is a place for punishment for the crimes we commit....not a daycare.....

But I do agree that a "bonding" is vital for a mother and child but at what point do we draw the line?

If all women were offered this opportunity would it cause bigger "issues" in the long run?

I don't know - I am really confused on this?????
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:18 PM
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I think that if a woman will be out in a reasonable amount of time and they want to keep their baby, it would be best for both of them. They need to bond and it might help the mother be more responsable when she does get out.

In Iowa where my daughter is (and pregnant with twins), they remove the baby to foster care after only 2 days (2 days after their born). I see only big problems with this for mother and child.

My 2 cents
If a family member requests to take the child, so as to keep the child with family, is this option available? I would think that any state would rather have the family take the child rather then put into foster care and have to pay the foster parents?
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:04 PM
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I think that it is a good idea, within reason. If the person is not a habitual offender, if they are going to be getting out before the childs second birthday, if they are willing to participate in parenting classes, substance abuse, ged/college programs.

Only kinda kidding here, but I wish there was something for fathers in prison to keep them one weekends, this momma could use a break and it would greatly help their bond. Our youngest is a daddys girl.
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