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Are prison nurseries in the best interest of the child?

Motherhood is an amazing time in a woman's life. It is filled with time spent bonding and nurturing her babies. For some women who are incarcerated, a new program has allowed them to not only deliver their babies in prison but to keep them with them for the duration of their sentence. In California and other states, female prisoners believe that it is in the best interest of the child to raise their babies behind bars.

A woman who is a part of the Prison Residential Program in minimum-security facilities, and who is serving 30 months or less, can apply to keep her children with her until she is released. Inmates who come into the program are given a second chance to turn their lives around and raise their babies. Authorities within the facility say the best part is seeing the inmate's transformation into better people and better mothers.

Prisoners who are accepted into the program are closely monitored and receive additional education about drug treatment and staying sober. This training, along with parenting skills and preparing healthy meals, gives the women confidence and the skills they need to become great moms. Most of the woman are enrolled in Trades Related Apprenticeship Coaching Programs that teaches them skills to secure a good paying job after their release.

Experts agree that it is in the best interest of the child to be with their mother. In California and elsewhere, these prison programs have been an eye opener and changed the lives of women who have made bad choices. Their past does not define them, and it does not define their future. Women who are pregnant and facing incarceration may benefit from speaking with an attorney to determine if they are eligible for programs such as this.

Source: people.com, "Inside the Washington Corrections??Center for??Women Nursery", Caitlin Keating, April 12, 2018

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