Mothers with Babies Units allow women to care for their children
(Rules 49-52, Chapter 8)
In New Zealand, there are Mothers with Babies Units in Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility, Arohata Prison (Wellington) and Christchurch Women’s Prison. Women are placed near family, whänau and other significant people in the baby’s life. The aim is to help women in prison grow positive relationships with others who can support them in their parenting once they are released.
The Mothers with Babies Unit is a type of self-care unit. Mothers and babies have their own bedroom, including a cot for the baby. Up to three other mothers and their children share kitchen and lounge areas. Mothers are provided with items the babies need, including furniture, toys, toiletries, and books.
Placement will always depend on what is best for the child. If having the baby with them in prison is deemed not to be the best option, the mother–baby relationship is promoted in other ways, such as special bonding facilities on site where mother and child can regularly spend time together.
For more information see:
‘New Beginnings – Mothers with Babies Unit’, Department of Corrections