The women’s prison in Lusk is seeking funding for a nursery. That would enable inmates who give birth while incarcerated to keep their babies with them in prison for up to 18 months.
Warden Phil Myer says it’s usually better for newborns to be with their mothers – even in prison – than to live with relatives or foster parents, and he says taking care of a baby in prison also makes inmates less likely to commit further crimes.
“They did a study on the nursery program in Nebraska, and they saw a significant reduction in recidivism rates from those that participated and those that did not,” Myer said.
The Department of Corrections is asking for a little over a million dollars to set up the nursery. So far Gov. Matt Mead has not added funding for the nursery to his annual budget, but the Joint Appropriations Committee will be considering the request later this month.