Children living with incarcerated mothers: invisible, undocumented, and neglected

Elsevier, The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, Volume , 2024
Van Hout M.C., Fleissner S., Klankwarth U.-B., Stover H.

Global data on the number of pregnant women in prison or on children born or living in prison with their mother are unreliable.1, 2 The latest global prison trends from Penal Reform International suggest that approximately 740 000 women are in prison and that the number is rising in most regions. Our global mapping of age restrictions and duration of stay of children living in prison with their primary caregiver (usually their mother) highlighted broad variance in domestic approaches to permitting (or not permitting) children to live in prison.1 The mapping revealed that global consensus regarding appropriate durations and age limits of children living in prisons has not been reached. The UN has observed that global consensus might not be viable given the diverse standards of detention and child safeguarding worldwide.3