Sixty children whose mothers are in prisons, have to live one of the two captivities, either to be condemned to live in institutions with their mothers or to be sentenced to grow without their mothers.
There are a total of 5 women open and closed prisons in Turkey where 4 thousand 169 women prisoners are kept imprisoned by default or imprisoned. The children between 0-6 years of 479 of imprisoned women also live in the institutions with their mothers. A new Project titled “Innocent Prisoners” has been implemented at Bakırköy Women Closed Penal Institution to give a psychosocial support to the children and their mothers.
The project is run by Turkish Foundation of Re-autonomy for Children and the Civil Society Association in Penal System, in a joint work with Doğuş University, cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and financial support of the Consulate General of Netherlands in Istanbul.
About a thousand arrested or convicted women are kept behind bars at Bakırköy Women Closed Penal Institution where there are nearly 60 children between the ages of 0-6 who stay with their mothers.
The care and protection of these children out of the institution without their mothers causes other problems.
The project for the children and mothers at Bakırköy Women Closed Penal Institution includes “Effective Motherhood Skills Training, Workshop for Strengthening Mother-Child Interaction and Personal Development Workshops with Teenage Girls between 13-18 Ages”.
Remarking that the stay of children with their mothers in penal institutions is a practice unprecedented in developed countries, Asst. Assoc. Dr. Aslı Akdaş Mitrani expresses that
none of the current alternatives is preferable to send these children out of institutions, adding that their aim is the development of an supportive model pursuant to the national conditions.
Another objective of the project is the reduction of the academic, emotional and social risks that these children may be exposed to in the process of adaptation to the life outside.
Translation: Berna Ozgencil