Incarcerated Parents And Their Children Essay

2592 words - 10 pages

The challenges of children who grow up with parents whom were incarcerated at some point in their childhood can have a major effect on their life. The incarceration of parents can at times begin to affect the child even at birth. Now with prison nurseries the impregnated mother can keep her baby during her time in jail. With the loss of their parent the child can begin to develop behavioral problems with being obedient, temper tantrums, and the loss of simple social skills. Never learning to live in a society they are deprived of a normal social life. “The enormous increase incarceration led to a parallel, but far less documented, increase in the proportion of children who grew up with a parent incarcerated during their childhood” (Johnson 2007). This means the consequences of the children of the incarcerated parents receive no attention from the media, or academic research. The academic research done in this paper is to strengthen the research already worked by many other people. The impact of the parent’s incarceration on these children can at times be both positive and negative. The incarceration of a parent can be the upshot to the change of child’s everyday life, behavioral problems, and depriving them a normal social life.
There have been many questions raised if the nurseries programs were fair but “the number of women incarcerated in state prisons in the United States (US) has dramatically increased in the past 20 years, and 70% of these women are the mothers of minor children, as of the last Bureau of Justice estimates” (Mumola, 2000). “Allowing women to parent their children within correctional facilities in the US may be “one of the most controversial debates surrounding the imprisonment of women” (Belknap, 2007, p. 203). However, there are policies allowing the mother to co-reside with her child, and only a few prisons have taken advantage of this opportunity. There are only four states that have prison nurseries in the United States such as New York, Nebraska, Washington, and Ohio. Each nursery has an obligation given to each mother for her to keep her child. Some prisons allow the mother to keep her child for a limited time if she completes classes. In Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, in New York, the child is permitted to stay at with its mother until they are 1 year of age. Mothers at Bedford Hills must also participate in parental classes taught by qualified inmates. The parents give the prison a sense of reassurance for allowing the babies in their prisons. Another prison is the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women which opened their prison nursery in the early 1990’s. The mother is allowed to keep her infant if her release date is before the child turns 18 months. Childbirth and parenting classes are mandatory before and after the birth of an incarcerated inmate’s child. The nursery at Washington Corrections Center for Women differs from the prison nurseries in New York, and Nebraska because it...

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