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Prison Nursery Program Allows Mom Inmates to Bunk with Their Babies

The Short of It

The Wee Ones Nursery Program allows pregnant women to have their babies with them in prison after they're born.

The Lowdown

One in 25 women in state prisons and one in 33 in federal prisons are pregnant. So what happens to the babies after they're born? Well, in Indiana, if mom meets certain requirements, she can have the baby live with her in prison as she serves her sentence.

The purpose of the program is to promote mom and baby bonding. Mothers and babies get private units and access to nannies who help them care for their infants while they attend classes and counseling. A similar program exists in Ohio, too.

Jayla Currie is a mom currently partaking in the program as she's serving time for drug charges. Her son Jayden was born in prison and recently celebrated his first birthday there.

"I spent my whole pregnancy thinking I couldn't keep my son because of the amount of time I had to serve my sentence," Jayla told Yahoo Parenting. "To be able to have him here with me is wonderful."

The Upshot

Proponents of the program hope it will motivate moms to stay on the up-and-up while serving their sentences and after. One study says moms who bunked with their babies in prison were more likely to keep custody of them after release and were less likely to be arrested again.

Jayla is looking forward to her release in October. She and Jayden plan to live with her parents, and she wants to work in the family recycling business. We wish her the best!

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