Society's traditional approach to women offenders has been focused on "women as prisoners and not.., prisoners as women." Harsh implications for female offenders who are mothers can result from the view that incarceration not only curtails the prisoner's freedom of movement but also terminates many of the individual's civil rights as well. In reality, these women are doubly penalized with a prison sentence as well as temporary or permanent loss of their parental rights. Modern courts are beginning to recognize that "[a] prisoner retains all of the rights of an ordinary citizen except those expressly, or by necessary implication, taken from him by law." This comment focuses on what impact this trend will have on one facet of a female offender's parental rights: her right to keep a child she bears while incarcerated. An analysis will be made of the current situation nationwide with particular emphasis on Virginia's treatment of this phenomenon.
Donna L. Brodie,
Babies Behind Bars: Should Incarcerated Mothers be Allowed to Keep Their Newborns with Them in Prison?,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol16/iss3/8