<h1>Blog & News</h1>
March 4, 2011

Strengthening Families through Indiana Women's Prison

by Abigail Coleman

Children whose parents have been incarcerated are seven times more likely to be re-incarcerated themselves. Last night when watching the second installment of Babies Behind Bars, a TLC program featuring Indiana Women's Prison, this poignant statistic jumped out at me. I was able to see both installments of the program (if you missed it, you can catch a rerun of last week's program later this month). As an expectant mother, the show evoked emotion for Rebecca in particular, who delivered her baby during the course of last night's show.

Babies Behind Bars provides an enlightening view into the life of mothers and their families through the lens of the correctional system, a life I had not thought much about until joining the Women's Fund team. Women's Fund has provided support to programs focused on strengthening family ties at the Indiana Women's Prison since 1999. Our support has included grants totaling almost $150,000:

  • $5,000 in 1999 for development and provision of the Youthful Offenders Program, offering age-appropriate mental health services for young offenders.
  • $20,000 in 2004 for operating support.
  • $50,000 in 2005 to establish a Family Outreach Coordinator position within the Family Preservation Program. This staff member was dedicated to focus on increasing the type and quality of services offered by the program.
  • $49,549 in 2007 to document the success of the Family Preservation Program. The data was to be used to secure additional funding to continue the program; the remainder of the grant funded child development training and education.
  • $25,000 in 2010 to support the Family Preservation Program and Wee Ones Nursery.

Three OPTIONS Classes have also granted a total of $5,500 for supplies and materials related to the Family Preservation Program and Wee Ones Nursery.

Women's Fund supports these programs as we know that many offenders will one day rejoin our society, outside the correctional system. Women who participate in the Family Preservation Program and Wee Ones Nursery have much lower recidivism rate, which can be attributed in part to the bonds they have developed with their children. This support enables women to achieve success and meets our central purpose: to provide options and opportunities for women and girls.

Image credits:
msnbc.msn.com

Cheryl Hanna-Truscott, CNM: www.protectivecustody.org
Wheeler Mission Ministries, www.wheelermission.org

 



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20 Comments

Brittany
Saturday, August 16
Hello I think this is a wonderful program but would like information on how to adopt one of these babies if the birth mothers who choose that option. I cannot have kids-have had several failed artificial inseminations and a failed adoption-I have so much love to offer. I would appreciate any info I could get thanks!
Robyn
Tuesday, January 28
I would like to get information on how to donate.
Laurie Snipes
Friday, November 22
I would like some information on how you donate I like this program and I have a 9 month old son and I have his old clothes that I would like to donate
Katherine Reese
Monday, February 25
Hello - I have watched the "Babies Behind Bars" whenever I see it advertised, it seems like a GREAT program. I am a retired lady and I crochet baby blankets. I would like to donate some to your program. I see when they give the baby to the mothers and thought one of my blankets would be grate for that. It would be a "special blanket" the mother could always keep. Please let me know if this would work for your program. Thanks so much
Ashley clark
Saturday, November 10
I truly think this is a great program . I believe it will help theses moms build hey bind and want to keep it with their children when they get out . which 9 * outta 10 they would not have been getting this opportunity on the street and the child would suffer and be without their parent. I also believe if there child with taking away from them while in prison they would be more likely to go return to their previous life style . this show touched me . I have a hard time partying with all of my daughter's baby clothes n shOes .she just turned 1 so I have all clothes from 0 to 1 year . if the facility or anyone would be the willing to pay for the shipping to Indiana I would more than happily donate to the facility. I live in Florida so not sure on how much that would run. just contact me via email if interested at Ashclark58@yahoo.com!!
Abigail Coleman
Tuesday, March 20
Thank you for your interest in supporting this program. Indiana Women's Prison does accept donations for their Wee Ones Nursery. Items they are most in need of are: new and gently used clothing 0-18 month size, diapers size 0, 1 and 2, wipes, and Dreft detergent. If you would like to donate, please email Wendi with Angel's Wings, at wendi@angelswingsinc.org.

As far as becoming a foster parent, this depends on the area in which you live. You may try contacting AdoptUSKids, a service of U.S. Children's Bureau. Information is available on their website at: http://www.adoptuskids.org/for-families/how-to-foster.

Many thanks for your support and interest.
amber demmer
Tuesday, March 20
i also watched this program and thought its a wonderful idea.i would like to donate some clothing and was wondering where to send them.
Kelly Cabrera
Tuesday, January 17
I would like to say it is great to see that you give the mothers a chance... I am a foster parent in Neb and would be interested in fostering or adopting. I have four children of my own and can't have anymore. Right now my husband and I have an 18 year old foster child who will be moving on into adult living.If you could send me some info on maybe helping one of these women and there baby we would be happy to do what we can. God bless you. May he keep you all strong in this wonderful program.. Thank you for your time..You are all in our prayers.
Leona
Tuesday, January 17
How can I Donate clothing for the baby's.
NANCY LAWERY
Tuesday, November 15
COULD YOU PLEASE SEND INFORMATION ON HOW ONE CAN BECOME A FOSTER PARENT. THANK YOU.
Tamika
Thursday, November 3
Hello, my name is Tamika and i have watched the program on t.v and it brings tears to m eyes to see how hurtful it is for this women to give up there babies or don't have anybody who would willing are for the infants. I was wondering if someone could let me know how to go about adopting or fostering one of the babies so the children don't have to experience or feel as if they are not wanted.

Please, i will make sure if allowed the opportunity to make a difference in the children's lives.

Thanks,
Tamika
jen towery
Thursday, August 11
I think that this program is a great idea. There should be more all across this country. It will make a whole world of difference in the long run,especially for innocent children.
Stephanie
Wednesday, August 10
I would like to know how to maybe go about fostering and adopting these babies. I have adopted once before, but it was in the family so I didn't know how I would go about it this way. Maybe even being a coach for the mothers that don't have anyone. Could someone please let me know how I could do any or all of this. Thank you so much.
Tamekiah Gordon
Saturday, July 16
I want another child but its hard for me to get pregnacy i was watching the show I will like to adopt one of the womens baby color dont matter I just want to give my love to one those baby they need a good home So please keep me in mind I love kids So if u have any question please email me
Thank You
Tamekiah
nadine mccready
Tuesday, June 28
hi i live in england nd watch the babies behind bars on tv and feel for them babies am just woundering how do u go about sending clothes over as i have a son hes 11 month and have loads ov clothes that havnt been worn nd wud lk to send them over to the babies in Indiana Women's Prison in the USA.
Heather
Friday, June 10
I myself was in the IWP baby program and gave birth to my son Charlie at the Wishard Memorial Hospital.The program really does work wonders and God blesses the mothers with Blessings. My son charles and i went home on April 4th 2011. I have no desire to use drugs any longer and the bond I have with my son Charles is a beautiful one.
bonnie
Tuesday, April 5
i never seen the program yet but what i have read seem to be good for the mother to bond with there child. Also get ready for the outsideworld.I did' t know that you had a program like this.keep up the good work.May be one day i can volunteer at a place like this. I enjoy helping other people &childrens. Have a bless day. How can i become a volunteer? Need more programs like yours.
Elizabeth
Friday, March 25
How can I get involved in this program as a volunteer?
Abigail Coleman
Wednesday, March 23
Rachellann:

Thank you very much for your comment; we appreciate your interest in and support of our work.

Best wishes as you complete your degree and work toward your goals!

Kind regards,
Abigail Coleman
Rachellann Ferguson
Wednesday, March 23
To who may concern
I think it is wonderful the work you are doing for these women. These women have a great opportunity for someone to support them thru the experience of becoming a mother. Even on the out side it is hard to find support. I believe your prison will have positive results in all of the programs you have to offer the women. something has to be done to break the cycle abuse,drugs,crime,prison, baby abuse drugs crime prison.
I realize the need for a change in the correctional system I believe your group is on the right track.. I just hope more states follow your example and more donations. I am currently studying for my Bachelor,s in Psychology/ Substance Abuse. I want to help in the fight to get our country back from drugs.

Again I am moved deeply inside when I see the effort your group has put towards keeping the baby with the mother.

Sincerely
Rachellann Ferguson