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Raising Babies Behind Bars

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Giving birth and raising baby under normal circumstances is hard enough but imagine having to do that while behind bars. For the women of Ohio Reformatory for Women, prison is their babies' nursery and playground but the picture of their future isn't as bleak as you'd think.

Raising babies behind bars

It's hard to believe that prisons are not legally obligated to provide prenatal care for pregnant inmates. Things are slowly changing and the Ohio Reformatory for Women is part of a growing group of prisons that is going against this accepted practice. Ohio Reformatory for Women's Achieving Baby Care Success (ABC's) Nursery Program opened in June 2001, and educates moms on child health and wellness issues while helping cultivate essential parenting skills. This program is said to increase the likelihood of a new moms successfully re-integrating into the community and keeping her baby rather losing them to the foster care system.

To get full details on how the program works as well as it's positive effect on the lives on the moms and the community go to Essence.com.



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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
AJ April 15, 2010, 9:13 PM

Why is that hard to believe? These are prisoners. Not women in jail. Not women standing trial. Not allegedly guilty women. Guilty women. Women can have custody taken away from men who end up in prison, honestly, I don’t see any differently in this case. I am NOT saying women should be forced to give their children up for adoption because they are incarcerated, but they do forfeit parental rights as long they are serving out their sentence. With funds being cut across many states for lower-income mothers, I don’t believe women who committed crimes against society are a higher priority than ones who have not.

Janel April 18, 2010, 10:21 AM

I beg to differ AJ these are women, these are mothers, these are human beings, some guilty some not. Some just made a mistake and will eventually learn from it. Sadly most will not but nevertheless that will not change the fact that they are still mothers. Most will face judgement like yours but I pray daily for their strength to rise against it and if at all in my power I shall seek to help them do this. But I will like to thank you AJ because of people like you I and other moms who happen to be EXoffenders can gain the strength to prove you WRONG!!!!!


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