April 30, 2012
Community Prisoner Mother's Program Welcomes VIP Visitors
A safe environment for inmate mothers and their children
In March 2012, Prototypes’ Women’s Center in Pomona received some very special visitors who came to learn about the agency’s Community Prisoner Mother’s Program (CPMP). California State Senators Carol Liu and Loni Hancock, Lisa Ling from the Oprah Winfrey Network and Kim Kenny from The Women’s Foundation of California met with Prototypes staff and several CPMP clients. The clients talked candidly about the program’s impact on their lives and the importance of keeping it open.
Prototypes has operated the CPMP for inmate mothers and their children since 1997, when the agency contracted with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to be the Southern California provider. Women in the program—together with their children—serve out their sentence in Prototypes’ residential setting. The program’s focus is on mother-child bonding and providing a safe, stable, stimulating environment for the inmate mothers and their children. The program helps both mothers and children prepare for life after incarceration and prevents the trauma that inevitably occurs when young children are separated from their mothers.
Although the program is facing possible closure, there is a ray of hope: Senator Hancock is crafting legislation that would broaden eligibility criteria, and Prototypes is partnering with her office and with CDCR to provide input on what would make a good program and to make criteria recommendations.