Photo of the Day: Raising Children in Prison

11 - Christina Bray - Pomona Prison Childcare Mothers Center Pre

This shot is part of a beautiful photo essay from Deepa Fernandes (reporting) and Mae Ryan (photography) at Southern California Public Radio explores the lives of some women in prison, in particular the lucky few who get to help raise their children while incarcerated. Fernandes writes:

The only prisoner-baby program left is in Pomona. The Department of Corrections rents rooms from a non-profit that runs a residential detox program. The state pays for up to for 24 inmates, but not all the beds were full during visits in July and August.

The complex looks nothing like a prison – groups of dorms surround a large playground. Inside are a nursery, toddler care rooms, a Head Start program and a Kindergarten classroom run by the Pomona Unified School District. There are no bars, no barbed wire and no armed guards.

“If you have a baby in prison, you have your baby and you hand your baby over to somebody,” said Regina Dotson, the senior corrections officer in charge of the inmates at the Pomona facility.  “If they’re in my program, they have their baby and they come back here and they get to bond with their baby.”

Make sure to check out the whole essay here.

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Juliana’s heart dropped at this story.

 

Bay Area, California

Juliana is a writer, a speaker, and a consultant. Her blogging work focuses on feminist and racial justice movements lead by Latinas throughout the Americas, touching on issues such as environmental justice, immigration, colonization, land rights and indigenous movements. She has been a regular Contributor to Feministing since Spring of 2013, and also been published on the Huffington Post, Mic, and the Feminist Wire. Juliana studied Latin American and Latinx Studies at the University of California and is now based in the Bay Area where she has worked with various organizations on social media and communications strategy. In her free time, she likes to dance salsa and tango and practice Portuguese with her cousins via Skype.

Juliana is a Latina feminist writer and digital communications specialist living in California.

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