At the Ohio Reformatory for Women, a dozen babies are spending time behind bars. Too young to say the word “crime,” they are participants in a program that enables inmate mothers to raise their children in their cells.
The program is one of many across the country designed to meet the unique needs of mothers who are locked up. Women are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. prison population. At the Ohio Reformatory, the warden estimates that 75 percent of the 2,300 inmates housed there are mothers.