U.S. v. My Mommy: Evaluation of Prison Nurseries as a Solution for Children of Incarcerated Women


In the United States alone, more than 250,000 children are separated from their mothers due to incarceration. This number has been steadily growing over the last two decades. Such separation has substantial detrimental effects on the child, the mother, and, inevitably, the general public. Prison Nursery Programs that provide an opportunity for children to accompany their mothers to prison for the duration of her sentence is one possible, albeit controversial, solution for this dire problem. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the efficacy of Prison Nursery Programs in providing an adequate solution for children of incarcerated mothers. It examines the ability of these programs to advance the rights and interests of the child, the mother, the state, and the general public. The experience of European countries with Prison Nursery Programs is also presented and analyzed to identify how lessons learned from this cumulative experience can help improve practices in the United States.

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