Moms and Babies Program

The Moms and Babies program at the Decatur Correctional Center allows incarcerated mothers to keep their newborn infants with them for a specified amount of time, and supports these women in developing and nurturing bonds with their babies through effective programming and a safe and supportive living environment. The program also builds solid foundations for strong family structures to continue upon release.

One of only a handful of such programs nationwide, Moms and Babies is operated as a partnership between the Illinois Department of Corrections, TASC, and a team of community-based partners. The program began in 2007, and TASC began providing services in 2009. With the support of Second Chance Act funding awarded to the Illinois Department of Corrections, TASC was able to begin offering enhanced program services in January 2012.

The Moms and Babies program model incorporates both in-prison and community-based services, including strength-based assessments, family outreach, and intensive post-release case management. While in prison, women take part in facilitated support networks and trainings. Once participants are released from prison, they receive continuous case management, including community visits and service referrals.

 

Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, women must meet criteria set by the Illinois Department of Corrections, and must be within two years of release.

 

TASC’s Role

TASC offers both pre-release services and post-release case management. Our in-prison services include individual reentry planning, parenting sessions, facilitation of support networks, trainings on communication and relationships, healing of trauma, and preparation for parenting outside the walls. As mothers are released from incarceration, TASC provides ongoing case management, home visits, and linkages to individual and family services and supports in the community.

 

Primary Funder(s)

Illinois Department of Corrections

 

Contact

Deana Elmore

Did You Know?

In 2004, 4% of women in state prisons were pregnant at the time of admittance. The overwhelming majority of children born to incarcerated mothers are separated from them immediately after birth and placed with relatives or into foster care. (Source: Institute on Women & Criminal Justice)

According to the Institute on Women & Criminal Justice, women who participate in prison nursery programs show lower rates of recidivism, and their children show no adverse effects as a result of their participation.