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.

 

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