By Amy Leet
Every year in the United States, 2.2 million men and women are incarcerated. Many of them are mothers and fathers.
According to the Voices of Incarceration Project, this leaves behind more than 2.2 million children.
Imagine being confined to one building while you’re four months pregnant, without the freedom and comfort of your own home. That’s the reality many incarcerated women face every day.
In Billings, many of those women have the chance for a better experience through the Montana Women’s Prison parenting program.
“I’m confident that I’m going to be able to transition and go into the community and be a good mom. I have the tools now. I’ve learned a lot and how to be a good mom,” one woman in the program said.
The parenting program provides services for women in the months leading up to and following the birth of their child. It includes both pre- and post-natal support groups as well as mental and emotional support from staff members.
“They’re like having a second mom around.”