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Pros and Cons of Prisoning Mothers with Children in Prison

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Women population in jail is increasing in recent decades. The number of women in jail has increased eight times than they were 30 years ago. This is not as a result of an increase in crimes committed by women but as a result of the fact that the statute does not allow judges to consider the extent to which these women are involved in crimes.   Judge's sentence these women to prison, “ on the basis that they are involved in a crime without considering how involved they are” (Hairston 210).

They also don’ t consider the number and age of children under their care or whether the mothers are single or not. Most of these women’ s involvement in a crime is mostly not to a big extent. Their involvement may be as minimal as taking phone messages of a boyfriend or petty theft. But due to the fact that they are partly involved in a crime, they are sent to jail. The result of this has been an increase in women population in jail. Most authorities were not preparing for this influx. Women’ s needs are of cause different from those of men.

An influx of men in prison does not raise as much concern as that of women since their needs are different. Therefore, a female prisoner’ s needs should be treated differently from those of male’ s needs. Gender-specific factors such as the needs of related children should be taken into account. Another factor that should be taken into account includes a record of child and spousal sexual abuse. Human rights advocates such as the director of Nevada DOC, Jackie Crawford have given special attention to the rights of women in prisons.

She has written that there is a need for prison administrators to address behavior patterns of female offenders because women are prone to emotions and in most cases when imprisoned, “ they develop far more relationships within the facilities than men” . Prisons are now adapting themselves to give room to children in their facilities. A child can now get access to a good education while staying with his mother in prison. Some prisons that have prison-based programs offer vocational training on childhood parenting and development skills to women.

Some have even had their programs molded on the prison’ s nursery.

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