MATERNITY BEHIND BARS
The study is based on qualitative data analysis on 23 interviews with women who became mothers during custodial sentence located in Târgșor Penitentiary, the only womenʼs penitentiary in Romania, taken during 2018. Starting from the description of the prison journey challenges, the results reveal not only details about living conditions, food and medical care for pregnant women and mothers who live with their child in the penitentiary mother unit, but also the side effects of the law in force. To avoid the contact of the newborn babies with the prison, the Criminal Procedure Code allows mothers to interrupt their prison sentence to raise them outside, until the age of one (art. 589 and 592), putting mothers in front of the temptation to procreate againin in order to postpone the return to prison with each new pregnancy. Other research results show the systemʼs influence on womenʼs personal decisions, the distrust of incarcerated mothers in state institutions and the lack of benefits and support services specially created to protect children with incarcerated parents and their caretakers.
Keywords: Romanian penitentiary system, interruption of the prison sentence, Mother and child unit, motherhood behind bars, children.