Baby Units in Prison Video

We visit a mother and baby unit in a California prison and examine what the mothers learn at the facility. Many of the mothers learn to become responsible citizens through having to be responsible for their children.
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Frances Valenzula: The benefit of coming here rather than going to a prison, is that they have the opportunity to get treatment for their substance abuse as well as be able to be with their child. Lynette Andress: I get to be with my daughter, I get to learn a new way of life. They teach me the basic skills that I need, you know to be not only to be sober but to raise my child. Alice Koh: While the mothers are here, they will learn from A-Z as far as daily living skills. They learn -- we have several moms here that have, had older children but yet not have that necessarily had the hands on parenting experiences. So lot of times we teach them something as simple as diaper changing or how to prepare a formula, how to give an newborn a bath, something as simple as that. To how to interact with different age levels and providing positive reinforcement for the children. Elizabeth Martinez: This is my first child, I get parenting skills. I learn how to take care of different ages here. So in the future when my son grows, I'll know what stage to take him to, there's relapse prevention. It teaches me how to stay sober. My living skills, my -- how to budget my money, they teach me a lot here. Frances Valenzula: Well, I think the benefits are that they get to bond with their child, they get to give birth to their child at a local hospital, when they get to see the child and hold the child and then keep the child, bring the child home, be with him almost 24x7. Alice Koh: Now the lot of mothers that are here mentioned that they have never been a parent sober. So being sober, and being a parent helps them realize the importance of their own baby life as far as how that impacts the child's life. Irene Lofft: Quality time, that means a lot and like just spending time with your children, it makes a big difference and that's what I wasn't doing before. You know spending time with him, reading books to him, playing with him, you know sitting down and eating a meal with him, it just means a lot and just teaching him flash cards or anything, you know, it just that's what I never did before. And now that I've been here, I -- you know realized that there's a lot of stuff that I didn't know. Elizabeth Martinez: The program teaches here, how to open up, how to share your feelings to express yourself in appropriate manner and I have learned to do that and now I can cope with my son and myself at the same time.

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