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Babies in Prison: Should Never Have Been

             In my opinion, women with young children should not be .
             able to have their infants living in prison with them. .
             However, how do we balance the attachment needs of the .
             child in opposition to the negative consequences of growing .
             up in prison? We must take into consideration the best .
             interest of the infant without compromising the .
             safety and security of the circumstances. .
             Countless incarcerated mothers were not high quality .
             parents before they encountered the justice system, in .
             fact, many of them did not have custody of their children .
             prior to their imprisonment. In addition, several of them .
             have been or are at risk, of becoming physically or .
             emotionally abusive towards their children. Drug and .
             alcohol abuse is a common problem and many of these women .
             are not first time offenders; in reality, some of them have .
             been re-incarcerated as a result of a violation of their .
             parole. In my opinion, women prisoners often come from .
             socially deprived and often high-risk backgrounds. Although .
             many of them are convicted of non-violent crimes, they have .
             violated laws and disregarded the ethics set by society. .
             When they committed the offence, they waived their rights .
             to be productive members of society. Children are born .
             innocent; therefore, it is my belief that these women .
             should not have the opportunity to be parents until they .
             have served their sentences, successfully completed .
             appropriate programs; such as, parenting skills and .
             substance abuse rehabilitation, and have demonstrated to .
             be positive role models. I believe that we cannot justify .
             allowing criminal mothers to raise their children, in the .
             penitentiaries intended for offenders who are confined for .
             detention or punishment. Nonetheless, it has been .
             disputed that " imprisonment has an adverse impact on .
             mother-infant bonding"(McGowan and Bluementhal 1978; Bloom, .
             1988). The dispute is whether the benefits of keeping .
             babies close to their mothers prevail over the risk of .

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