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Five years of Mothers with Babies Units

Hon Judith Collins

Minister of Corrections
3 October 2016 Media Statement

Minister acknowledges five years of Mothers with Babies Units


Corrections Minister Judith Collins visited Christchurch Women’s Prison today to celebrate the five year anniversary of the expanded use of Mothers with Babies Units.

Since September 2011, and following the passing of the Corrections (Mothers with Babies) Amendment Act in 2008, mothers with babies have been able to keep their baby with them in prison until they are two years old. Up until then, mothers were only able to keep their baby with them until they were nine months old.

There are three Mothers with Babies Units- one at Christchurch Women’s Prison, one at Arohata Prison and one at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility (ARWCF).

“I’ve always said that irrespective of their mother’s circumstances, these babies deserve a good start in life and to be with their mother. They need a stable, supportive environment and the Units provide that.”

“The Mothers with Babies Units provide a non-threatening, safe haven situation for mothers to care for their babies and build on their parenting skills. Being able to form a strong bond with their baby over a two year period also helps the mothers’ rehabilitation.”

Since the opening of the new Units, a total of 77 mothers have been able to have their young children with them in prison until the age of two.

ends

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