Converging Streams of Opportunity for Prison Nursery Programs in the United States

Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
L S Goshin, M W Byrne


Prison nursery programs allow departments of correction to positively intervene in the lives of both incarcerated mothers and their infant children. The number of prison nurseries in the United States has risen dramatically in the past decade, yet there remains a significant gap between predominant correctional policy in this area and what is known about parenting and infant development. Using Kingdon's streams metaphor, this article examines the recent convergence of problem, policy, and political events related to incarcerated women with infant children and argues that this has created a window of opportunity for development of prison nursery programs. Aday's policy analysis criteria are also used to analyze available evidence regarding the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of prison nursery programs as policy alternatives for incarcerated women with infant children.


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