Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Baby on the Prison Cell Block: Mommy and Me in Prison

Last night I published my post for the mommy and family category at BlogHer this week. It covers the rising number of mothers in prison and some in an Ohio program who get to keep their babies in their cells with them. The post is entitled "Baby and Me Behind Bars: Number of Moms in Prison Grows." Here's an excerpt:
When I heard about the prison with baby program, I felt it was good on the surface. But something about the program disturbed me. I asked myself, "What if it gets out of hand? What if what seems like a compassionate solution to mother/child separation ends up keeping children with their mothers in prison for longer periods of time?"

I also thought of the how often blacks land in the prison system in disproportionate numbers and how quickly this compassionate system of keeping mommy and baby together could look, after a time, more like slavery: a woman born in chains bearing a child who remains with her, and so, not free. According to Edleman's post on mothers rocking prison cradles, "The majority of the 1.5 million children of incarcerated parents are Black or Latino." (BlogHer post)
I interviewed another blogger for the post, Babz of Lovebabz: A Life in Transition, who is a mother that knows something about America's prison system. To read the post, visit this link.

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