CA: A New Kind of Jail for Moms with Young Kids

In California (and a few other states), the child of an incarcerated, nonviolent, mother need not be forced into foster care. Instead, the child may be able to head to jail with his or her mother.

Except that, recently, concerns have arisen about the quality of medical care delivered in these “mom’s prisons”. There have reportedly been one questionable death, and several injuries and illnesses not caught and treated as early as they probably should have been.

Most of the moms in these facilities are drug offenders. And they represent the fastest growing segment of the population of inmates in California.

Approximately seventy-five percent of these moms have custody of their children at the time they are sentenced.

The larger question is: should inmate mothers have their young children with them in confinement? Or should the children be temporarily placed with relatives or, if necessary, into foster care?

Read more in this provocative New York Times article: California Investigates a Mother-and-Child Prison Center.