- WJP Infographic -
Incarcerated Mothers & Their Children
The majority of women incarcerated in the U.S. are mothers. Incarcerated mothers face enormous barriers to maintaining contact and relationships with their children, including being placed at great distances from their families, facing limited and costly forms of communication, and enduring dehumanizing visiting policies and spaces that are not child friendly. Mothers with children in foster care also risk losing their parental rights — a horrific collateral consequence of incarceration. Separating children and their mothers through incarceration takes a devastating toll on the social, emotional, and economic well-being of children, families, and communities. Black, Indigenous, people of color, and people from low-income communities bear the brunt of this harm.
We honor the thousands of mothers behind the walls and those who have come home who, despite the countless barriers imposed by our inhumane criminal legal system, continue to fiercely love, parent, and fight for their children. And we honor the thousands of children whose parents are or have been incarcerated, who battle the stigma and separation unfairly placed on their shoulders, who hold powerful resilience and endless potential, and who fight for their parents right back.
1 From Introduction to the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) Expanded Discretion Law, YouTube, uploaded by VideoCANY, June 28, 2017
2 From Adoption and Safe Families Act Expanded Discretion Law (ASFA) Video for Mothers, YouTube, uploaded by VideoCANY, June 27, 2017
3 From When “Free” Means Losing your Mother: The Collision of Child Welfare and Incarceration of Mothers in New York State. New York: Correctional Association of NY, Women & Prison Project, 2006
4 From I Was Like the Sun, uploaded to YouTube by Women & Justice Project, 2017