Woman jailed for killing her ex-partner is fighting for her little boy to live behind bars with her.
The toddler’s mother, who can’t be named for legal reasons, is serving a sentence for manslaughter inside the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre in Melbourne, the Herald Sun reports.
The boy currently lives with his paternal grandparents, who argue he should remain in their care and in a family home.
“I can’t even see why the courts are considering putting a little boy in jail,” the boy’s grandfather told 3AW.
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“Why would you want him in a maximum security prison.
“I think I can provide a better life and happy life for the little boy.
“What sort of life is it (in jail) for a 22-month-old?”
The grandparents, who also care for the boy’s older sibling, are arguing the child would miss out on socialising with other children if he was put in jail with his mother.
The boy currently visits his mother, who has been in prison for just over a year, every two weeks.
The mum is arguing that the child should be with her in jail so they can bond.
The maximum security prison in Deer Park currently allows a limited number of special units for mothers imprisoned with their children.
Mothers and Children Program eligibility
To be eligible, a prisoner must be:
a mother who was the primary carer of a pre-school child before entering prison, or
a pregnant woman who is due to give birth while in prison.
The child must be under school age to live in the prison.
Mothers who have their child living with them in prison are housed in accommodation that meets acceptable community standards for the safe, and secure housing of children and adequately meets the nutritional, developmental and health needs of the child. Dedicated Mothers and Children Units are available at both the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Tarrengower Prison.
Cell accommodation is not appropriate for accommodating a mother and child. As a result some women who reside in particular accommodation units will not be able to have their children reside with them.
The Mothers and Children Program has a full-time support worker who is responsible for the administration of the program, including regular monitoring of the safety and wellbeing of all children in the program.
The mothers and children program support worker oversees the delivery of a number of programs to assist prisoners to improve their parenting skills or enhance their confidence as parents. These programs include early childhood health and development. A maternal child health nurse visits both prisons regularly to assist with the nutritional and health requirements of babies and young children.
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