Lullabies Behind Bars was an interesting read; I did not know there were nursery programs available at certain prisons. I guess I have wavering feelings toward this issue. On one hand, I do believe that a baby’s first years should be spent with their caregiver. As it is stated in the reading, these infants do not know they are in prison. Although, I believe that these mothers lost their right to care for a child when they decided to commit the crime they are serving time for. The way the nursery is set up diminishes the look and feel of a prison; the women can go back and forth as they please to care for their infants. The structure of a prison is set up to punish these criminals for their wrongdoing and it seems to me that a woman; who happens to be pregnant, is allowed more flexibility than a non-pregnant woman who did the same crime. The study presented in this reading shows that ten percent of children whose mothers are incarcerated and get placed into foster homes are more likely to experience social development difficulties and get into trouble with the law. This statistic is not a causal factor; there is a probability that it could be due to many other factors these researchers have not accounted for. There are many other situations in which the mother is not in prison but simply gave the child up for adoption; these children that end up in foster care can experience the same difficulties. This reading has me questioning the lives that these prison born babies will have as adults. I wonder if there could be some amount of psychological distress that could result from the adult learning that he/she was raised in a prison for the first few years of their life. I think they should invest more research on the long-term consequences. Although, on the other hand I do think there is some benefit to these programs for mothers serving five years or less. That is a good amount of time before the child realizes where they actually are and it is enough to build the recommended mother-baby attachment. This program has its pros and cons; which is why I found it to be very intriguing.
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