When a mom finds out she is pregnant it’s supposed to be the happiest moment in her life. But for some moms giving birth is a prison sentence; some are arrested a month before they give birth to their bundle of joy.
There can be anywhere from 15-30 pregnant women in a correctional facility at one time, and most of them are there because of their drug addiction. Most judges in the Delaware area will sentence a mom to prison so they can make sure the child, and the mom is healthy. Usually the crimes they are sentenced to are low-level offenses, so it’s not like most moms are there for a while- but it’s the degradation of getting arrested for a disease which is the problem. When a mom gives birth to her baby in jail they only have 24-hours in the hospital until the mom is sent back to her cell, and the baby is given to the next of kin, according to Newark Post.
Putting mothers behind bars is not the best option when it comes to helping them get rid of their addictions. First when the baby is born moms only have one day to spend time with their babies, ensuring new mothers and their newborns don’t have adequate bonding time Additionally, the baby is given to a relative or foster care. Basically someone else will raise their child so they don’t have to be responsible for their children. The children that are in foster care can be with a stranger for the rest of their life, it is so hard for a drug addict to get their child back. Moreover, if a mom is struggling with addiction she can get still get narcotics while in jail. Most people with a drug addiction are addicted to prescription drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin, and Oxycodone. Those drugs are easy to come by, and it’s not harder to come by in prison, unfortunately.
Essentially, when a mother is released she can go right back to her addiction, and it can even get worse. It often does. In all cases of pregnancy and addiction, jail is never the answer. The show Mothers Behind Bars you see what mothers really go through in prison. They have limited space, they get the same amount of food as women who are not expecting, and they spend most of their time in the cell, barring their exposure to the outside world.
New Expectations is a new program for mothers, and expecting mothers. Instead of being sentenced to jail they can be sent to this facility. So far this program is only available in Newark. Even though they are just starting this program they have enough space to house 17 mothers, and their kids, comfortably. The mothers attend drug rehab for four hours a day which is helping them overcome the disease of addiction. The mothers get to attend classes to help them take care of their newborns. Anything that the mother or the baby needs is right there, according to newarkpostonline.
This program is helping mothers all around. They are making sure the mothers get over their addiction, get the help they need to take care of their babies, and they help them further their education so they can find a job to support their little ones. Other cities should adopt this idea because it is the perfect place for expecting mothers with drug addictions.
“If I had been released from jail and back on the street, I would have more than likely gone back to my old ways,” Hearn said a mother who is in the New Expectations program, as quoted by the Newark Post.
Do you know anyone struggling with addiction during pregnancy?
For Help Call Drug Rehab Newark today!