Monday, February 4, 2008

In Mexico, Children Join Parents In Prison!

I found this video online, and I wondered what you all might think of it. (If you're getting here from Zimbio or a blog reader, you may have to come to the actual page, to see the video!)

The Mexico City government believes it is better for young children not to be separated from their mothers during their mothers' prison time. There are debates as to whether being raised in prison can be damaging to children, but the warden of that prison says the children seem to do well. Even though inmates can be loud or violent with each other, the warden says the children are never victims of violence. In fact, the presence of the children seems to calm all of the inmates, even the ones who don't have children of their own or whose children are not with them in the prison. Having their children with them also is helpful to mothers who are trying to learn parenting skills, kick drug habits, etc.
The mothers have to support their children inside the prison. The kids can eat with the inmates, but many mothers opt to buy groceries from the prison's grocery store instead. Mothers also have to pay for their children's medicine when they get sick, etc.
The children attend school in the prison, and the school teachers bring them out into the world for field trips as often as possible, in order to show the kids that there is a world out there. After all, when the children turn six, they have to return to the real world, leaving their mothers behind. That can be the hardest part in this situation, for both mothers and children!
What do you think of this? Are children better off spending those early formative years with their mothers, even if they have to live in a prison? Or are they better off being raised by relatives or foster parents, and only visiting their mothers occasionally? (In the USA, some prisons will allow infants to stay with their mothers for a certain period of time, and there is at least one prison in the USA that allows children to stay until age six.)
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it is sad in a way, but at the same time I think that the children need their mothers and need to grow up knowing they have one. So, there are positives and negatives. Depends on which side you are looking at.