Moms behind bars: what it means to be a mother in eshowe correctional center



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Children of Prisoners

To understand the issue of mother in prison, one must have some information on the way maternal imprisonment affects the innocent children who find themselves without a mother. For all children, young and older, contact with family members is crucial to healthy development (Luyt 2008: 318). This presents a problem when one or both of the child's parents are in prison. Children of prisoners display higher levels of social, emotional, and educational problems than children in the general population. Such problems include aggressive and anti-social behavior, sleeping difficulties, eating problems, delinquency, and running away (Luyt 2008: 320). These negative effects remain even after controlling for factors like abuse, neglect, residential instability, parental substance abuse, and poverty Hoffman, Byrd, and Kightlinger 2009: 398). As discussed above, maternal imprisonment disrupts family life more than paternal imprisonment, meaning that maternal imprisonment would impact more harshly on child development than paternal imprisonment.






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