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to feel sad about babies being born behind bars ~ itv programme

(19 Posts)
AuntiePickleBottom Mon 27-Jun-11 21:56:34

ofcourse babies should be kept with there mother's, especially if they have short sentances.

just feel sorry that these babies, especially when they get taken off the mother after 24 hours of birth.

strandedbear Mon 27-Jun-11 22:04:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hester Mon 27-Jun-11 22:05:37

It's a really difficult issue, isn't it? Generally, you don't want to separate babies from their mothers, and maybe have them taken into care, when a woman is on a short sentence. But prisons are desperately unsuitable places for children. There are some mother and baby units, but nowhere near enough to meet demand.

HidinginaHardHat Mon 27-Jun-11 22:06:43

The mothers just seem to be so feckless, two on their 8th babies, all of which are in care.

I hope the project works but i also hope it doesnt damage the children too much.

Antihelicopterparents Mon 27-Jun-11 22:12:49

It's a tricky one. Part of me thinks if you can't do the time, don't do the crime .But as a mother, my heart goes out to them.

Alambil Mon 27-Jun-11 22:14:54

one of them had her first children (twins) at age 11 - that is not a "normal" childhood by any stretch of the imagination. They were all such broken women, but yes - they committed crimes and are being punished.

I feel for the one who's mum dropped out at the eleventh hour though, that's some tough stuff to get to grips with

M0naLisa Mon 27-Jun-11 22:15:17

I feel different. Yes babies should be with their mum but they are in pridon for commiting an offence. Won't most have these been released on bail then imprisoned?? So they got on bail, got pregnant so they have an 'easier' time in jail.

Prison isn't a place for babies its for criminals.

HidinginaHardHat Mon 27-Jun-11 22:16:15

That was the same woman lewisfan I get the impression the first set of twins was not a live birth. I also got the impression from all the conversations about food stamps her mum is on the breadline.

tough break for all involved

queenmaeve Mon 27-Jun-11 23:03:23

I thought the worst bit was the amish taking the babies shock surely there are more standard type foster homes. it was the amish taking the babies shock surely there are more standard type foster homes.

OddBoots Mon 27-Jun-11 23:08:12

I got the impression that there was a cost (to the mother) for standard foster care, it is either pay, have the Amish care for the child or give it up for adoption.

Peachy Mon 27-Jun-11 23:09:57

Amish people vary hugely in terms of how 'Amish' they are, and in certain parts fo America theya re very much a part fo teh community; indeed Ina May Gaskin books focus a lot on their communities.

However, issue of the carers being Amish aside, I assume that America like the UK will have a shortage of foster carers.

I;d far rather see the babies kept with their mothers in priosn for their sake- becuase 2 year olds really do not care- if it keeps famillies together and reduces refoffending. I can't imagine the horrors of giving up a baby forcibly at 24 hours and the women in prions, like many ehre, do not generally come from typical backgrounds:abuse, learning difficulties, illietracy will be hugely common in the inmates and it's far better to break the cycle than just take babies away for teh bonding period.

ScarlettIsWalking Mon 27-Jun-11 23:11:15

Shouldn't that particular woman think about some kind of more secure contraception fgs. All these poor babies given up to the system.

The other girls were equally clueless and tragically misguided really - like the girl who had been trying to get pg with her drug dealer boyfriend and finally succeded only to have it in jail and give it upsad she had been raped at 14.

TheSnickeringFox Mon 27-Jun-11 23:13:37

Such a terribly sad programme.I would be astonished if any of those women did NOT have a history of abuse.

Regardless of what you think of the mothers, unless there are good reasons it is inhumane to remove babies from their mothers at 24 hours old.

Poor, poor babies sad

Peachy Tue 28-Jun-11 14:07:13

Scarlett of course, but it's really quite obvious that the mums were seeming to want to buy into a dream of mothrhood and love that I bet very many of them never had.

After all did you not see next week's clip, where Mum was saying how her own mother killed her dad?

charliejosh Tue 28-Jun-11 14:17:52

it was depserately sad, and I feel for the women who lose their babies because they don't get accepted on to the nursery wing. They are already being punished for their crime by serving a sentence deemed suitable by a judge. The punishment of losing your child is like a life sentence if you ask me - and that young girl was only inside for drug possession and nuisance

ScarlettIsWalking Tue 28-Jun-11 15:45:11

" but it's really quite obvious that the mums were seeming to want to buy into a dream of mothrhood and love that I bet very many of them never had."

Yes I agree with this. Maybe this explains the need for many of them to keep on having babies in such a dire, hopeless situation. Like a ray of hope for them and a reason to go on.

But the particular Woman who had had, six babies I believe and had to let go of each one. She was somehow more than that. It's hard to explain but it was like she was doing it like it was her job, by that I mean the thing she "produced" for the world and she accomplished -and then gave away which was inevitable and she knew full well given her record and unstable personal life. She really didn't seem to consider the fate of her babies. The others seemed to have a chance maybe because they were younger and obviously in for a shorter while.

It was all very sad

TheSnickeringFox Tue 28-Jun-11 20:26:00

Does anyone know what happens to pregnant prisoners in the uk?

CubiksRube Tue 28-Jun-11 20:31:10

Very, very sad. I hugged DS for quite a while afterwards, poor creature looked a bit pink afterwards.

I can see the benefit of the program - that it has the potential to reduce reoffending and help these women regain their feeling of purpose and self-worth. The women on the program certainly seemed 'changed' by it.

As a mother, I feel I must be in favour of this kind of program. Having your baby taken away from you after 24 hours must be so traumatic, and those women haven't had easy lives as it is. At least this gives them hope for the future.

hester Tue 28-Jun-11 22:23:39

TheSnickeringFox, a number of years ago I sat on a Home Office group that was looking at this issue. It was such a fascinating piece of work. It may have changed since then, of course, but from my memory the key things are:

- pregnant women: policy is to make their maternity care as normal as possible - so they will have maternity care from mainstream midwives, not prison doctors etc.

- after the infamous 'women giving birth in shackles' debacle (would like to remind Ann Widdecombe's many fans of that one) there was a lot of work to try to humanise the care of women prisoners giving birth

- there are mother and baby units in UK prisons, but not enough to meet demand. It is fantastically difficult and expensive to get these units good enough (think of all the health and safety, regulations, red tape etc involved in just being a childminder, or running a nursery, then imagine what you need in prison, with all the added issues of, for example, keeping babies safe from prisoners, giving babies access to the outside world so they don't scream with terror the first time they hear traffic noise etc)

- there are real problems in deciding where the cut-off point should be in how long a baby should stay in a prison setting. Obviously nobody wants a child taken into care if their mum will be out soon, but equally there comes a point where the child is having a very strange and restricted upbringing. There is also an argument that it should be kept low to avoid taking babies during the separation anxiety phase.

The rest of the working group were a very interesting bunch of people. Their opinions ranged from those who felt that, by definition, a woman prisoner is a bad mother and therefore her child will be better off without her, to those who felt that no mother should be locked up, ever. I don't agree with either position. But it seems obvious to me that we need to get the welfare of the child foremost and not get over-influenced by either pity for the mother or a wish to punish her.

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