U.S. v. My Mommy: Evaluation of Prison Nurseries as a Solution for Children of Incarcerated Women

32 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2012 Last revised: 7 Dec 2013

See all articles by Michal Gilad

Michal Gilad

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Tal Gat


Date Written: June 1, 2011


Several millions of children around the world suffer from the detrimental effects of parental incarceration. In the United States alone, over a quarter of a million children are separated from their mothers due to incarceration. Despite the fast growing magnitude of the problem and its vast effect on children, families and communities in the U.S. and around the world, relatively little attention is attributed to it in legal and social science scholarship. The article provides a comprehensive analysis of Prison Nursery Programs as a possible solution for children of incarcerated mothers. This is the first scholarly article to provide a diverse perspective that takes into consideration the rights and interests of all the parties involved, namely, the child, the mother, the state and the general public. It also provides a comparative analysis, suggesting policy improvements based on lessons learned from the experience of European countries in the field. Thus, the article provides a comprehensive basis for policy decisions concerning the institution of Prison Nursery Programs, as well as solutions for children suffering from parental incarceration in general. It also proposes new research directions that could advance this underexplored field.

Keywords: criminal law, criminal procedure, sentencing, incarceration, prison nursery, correction, child welfare, foster care, children's rights, law and society, public policy

Suggested Citation

Gilad, Michal and Gat, Tal, U.S. v. My Mommy: Evaluation of Prison Nurseries as a Solution for Children of Incarcerated Women (June 1, 2011). New York University Review of Law & Social Change, Vol. 36, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2171328

Michal Gilad (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA
United States

Tal Gat


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