Preschool Outcomes of Children Who Lived as Infants in a Prison Nursery

The Prison Journal
Lorie GoshinBarbara Blanchard-Lewis


This study examined long-term outcomes of children who spent their first one to eighteen months in a US prison nursery. Behavioral development in 47 preschool children who lived in a prison nursery was compared with 64 children from a large national dataset who were separated from their mothers because of incarceration. Separation was associated with significantly worse anxious/depressed scores, even after controlling for risks in the caregiving environment. Findings suggest that prison nursery co-residence with developmental support confers some resilience in children who experience early maternal incarceration. Co-residence programs should be promoted as a best practice for incarcerated childbearing women.


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