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Thursday, September 23 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Exiled & Silenced: The Plight of Incarcerated Mothers in the Child Welfare System

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Incarcerated mothers suffer from the same forced separation from their children as mothers in the community, yet research finds they are largely an ignored population in the family regulation system, tucked away and exiled by the thickness of a concrete barrier. Both the criminal justice system and the child welfare/family regulation system are part of this nation’s systemic racism structure that marginalizes and oppresses primarily BIPOC. The incarceration rate of women of color has increased and with it the number of children in the child welfare system. These women behind the walls agonize in silence as they are forcefully separated from their children, many lose their parental rights based solely on the lengths of sentences. This session tells their stories, unveils their plight, and inspires and challenges public defense teams, public defenders and social workers, to be the light in their dark places and liberate the silenced voices of these mothers.

Video References:

1. TedxUCIrvine, Michele Goodwin Women and Mass Incarceration

2. Moms Raising Kids From Prison

3. Tonier Cain, Healing Neen

4. Love Letters from Incarcerated Mothers and their children

Here's the list of references:
•Hager, E. & Flagg, A. How Incarcerated Parents Are Losing Their Children Forever. The Marshall Project, December 02, 2018
•The Sentencing Project. Incarcerated Women and Girls. November 24, 2020
•Harvey, S. How A Trip to Prison Cost Kenneth Clark His Right to Be a Parent. The Nation. July 20, 2020
•Halter, E. Parental Prisoners: the Incarcerated Mother’s Constitutional Right to Parent. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Vol. 108, No. 3, 2018
•Downey, M. Losing More Than Time: Incarcerated Mothers and the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997
•Cooper-Sadlo, S., et al. Mothers Talk Back: Exploring the Experiences of Formerly Incarcerated Mothers. Contemporary Family Therajsture, A. Women’s Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019. Prison Policy Initiative. October 29, 2019

avatar for Terri Green

Terri Green

Director of Social Work, Maryland Office of the Public Defender
Terri Collins-Green, LCSW-C is the Director of Social Work for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.  Mrs. Collins-Green has been with MOPD over ten years, beginning her career with MOPD as a line social worker, she was promoted to Regional Social Work Manager, and finally... Read More →

Thursday September 23, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT