Saturday, August 20, 2005

Jailing addicted mothers hurts the children more

How much more counterproductive can it get?

Maryland joins South Carolina and a handful of other similarly "enlightened" states in this strategy. A baby is born with drugs in its system to an addicted mother. They could spend a few thousand on rehab services and give the little family a chance to overcome the problem. That would make sense. Get the mom off the junk; give her a little help with housing, maybe a job program, so she pull herself back together and raise her child properly. Of course that's not the strategy.

Instead, they spend tens of thousands to put the mother in jail, rip the baby from its natural mother's care and place it in a foster home to be "raised" by strangers. So the mother is still a junkie when she gets out and you have a kid prone to emotional disorders from, if they're lucky - and not all of them are - an indifferent upbringing.

Jailing mothers punishes the babies just as much or not more than the mothers. Where's the justice in that?


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