Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

NEWS RELEASE 

 

MEDIA RELEASE  June 6, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OFFICIAL OPENING OF OHIO’S FIRST PRISON NURSERY

(Marysville)- Today Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Director Reginald Wilkinson joined Department officials and stakeholders for the opening ceremony of the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) Nursery. The ceremony took place today at 9:00 a.m. on the institution grounds in Marysville, Ohio.

The Achieving Baby Care Success (ABC’S) nursery is the only nursery program of its kind in Ohio. Currently five other state correction agencies have incorporated a nursery into the special programming for women inmates. These programs have proven to be a successful means of reducing recidivism. Additionally, the nursery program in Nebraska has saved the Nebraska foster care system over $8,000 per child in eliminating adoption and foster care costs.

By allowing the inmates to form a bond with their infant, DRC is promoting the healthy physical and emotional development of the child. Further, the mothers will have a new sense of responsibility and higher self-esteem, two qualities essential in becoming a productive member of society upon release. The inmates participating in the nursery program are pregnant when sentenced to prison and must meet specific criteria in order to reside in the nursery unit. Currently, there are three mothers and infants living in the nursery unit at ORW, and five women are expecting the arrival of their infants in the next few months.

"The Achieving Baby Care Success nursery at ORW is DRC’s contribution to saving a child and building our future," said Director Wilkinson. "It is not only a human, nurturing venture, it is a way to keep families together and instill pride and a sense of self-worth in mothers."

The nursery was authorized by House Bill 661, which was introduced by former Representative Cheryl Winkler and signed into law in December 2000. The nursery is designed to house twenty female inmates and their infants.

For further information, please contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150.