U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Converging Streams of Opportunity for Prison Nursery Program in the United States

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 48 Issue: 4 Dated: May-June 2009 Pages: 271-295
Lorie Smith Goshin; Mary Woods Byrne
Date Published
May 2009
25 pages
This study examined available evidence regarding the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of prison nursery programs as policy alternatives for incarcerated women with infant children.
Results indicate that prison nursery programs are a creative, gender-responsive strategy with the potential to positively affect both incarcerated women and their infant children. The evidence linking prison nursery participation to large reductions in recidivism makes them politically viable. Lawmakers increasingly recognize the unique problems related to the growing numbers and cumulative needs of incarcerated mothers and their children and perceive this group as deserving of attention. Positive developmental outcomes for infants who co-resided with their mothers in a prison nursery (in the United States) have only recently been documented and provide renewed incentive for co-residency while ameliorating one of the most common concerns. Prison nurseries are a preferred intervention for policymakers wishing to provide a cohabitation intervention for incarcerated mothers with infant children under their jurisdiction; it is critical that prison nurseries be established and maintained with the resources that empirical evidence show are necessary to create positive intergenerational outcomes. Table, figure, and references