Ioana Dana OBRINTESCHI IANCU
Universitatea din București; Bucharest University
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Being a Mother in a Mexican Prison
Abstract: This research represents a radiography of motherhood in the largest Women’s Prison in Mexico and Latin America – Saint Martha Social Rehabilitation Center for Women, located in Mexico City. In April 2020 there were detained 1247 women, 80% of them mothers. The focus of the study is on those female prisoners who became mothers during their detention period and chose to keep their babies with them inside the prison. Interviews have revealed that the average length of their sentence is approximately 27 years and, in many cases, the baby’s father is in prison as well. The study starts with analyzing the social costs of women’s incarceration and follows the respondents’ path, from the moment they find out that they are pregnant to day-to-day aspects of a mother’s and a child’s life in a prison and to the moment they are separated from their children. The reasons why couples decide to have a baby are taken into account, along with the living conditions, the baby’s nutrition, health care, early education and the way the mother expects her baby’s emotional development to be affected, by the fact that he/she had spent the first years of life in prison.
Keywords: motherhood in prison, convicted mother, Mexico, good mother.
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