TODAY’S MODERATOR: Raising babies behind bars

You don't tend to think of babies when you think of prison, but staff writer Lynn Hulsey covered a program at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville that allows some inmates to take care of their small children while they're behind bars.

She interviewed a young mother in her 20s who had her 22-month-old son in the prison nursery. “Even though I’ve made mistakes, my son still gets to be really lucky to be with me and to have me change for him,” she said.

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Hulsey writes, “She is one of six women and their children in the Achieving Baby Care Success program, the only one of its kind in the Ohio prison system. … (It) has served 289 female prisoners (many of whom were pregnant when sentenced), and their children since it began in 2001. Of that group, 222 successfully completed the program, said Ronette Burkes, the reformatory warden.

"We have mothers in here that have come to prison who have made a mistake and that want to raise their children, want to have an active role in their children's life. That want to be better parents," Burkes said.

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