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Prison Moms24:42

This article is more than 13 years old.

It sounds like a Victor Hugo plot line. A poor woman, a mother, is sent away to prison for a couple years - maybe for stealing something she thought she needed. And while she is in jail, her children are taken away - forever. Put up for adoption. Gone.

In fact, it's not a Broadway tear-jerker. It's American law, and it's happening all the time. Fifteen months in foster care while mom's in jail, and the kids are on the fast track to adoption.

Prisoner rights advocates say its double jeopardy and a travesty. Child welfare advocates say it's that or purgatory for the kids.

Hear about the taking away of their kids as America's female prison population soars.


Laurie Cohen, reporter for the Wall Street Journal

Tamar Kraft-Stolar, Director of the Correctional Association of New York's Women in Prison Project

Richard Gelles, archetict of the Adoption and Safe Families Act and Dean of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice

Detra Welch, lost the right to see her daughter while incarcerated for possession of crack cocaine.

This program aired on March 8, 2006.

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