National News

Mother, baby program resumes at B.C. jail

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - A program allowing women prisoners to keep their newborns with them while behind bars has resumed at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women.

BC Corrections says the Mother-Child Program complies with directions from the B.C. Supreme Court.

The revamped program includes an upgraded nursery, kitchen and child-bathing area, as well as child-friendly and age-appropriate toys and decorations.

BC Corrections says the changes create a stimulating and appropriate environment for babies.

Several inmates won a Supreme Court judgment late last year that found the charter rights of women prisoners were violated when corrections officials cancelled a program allowing women prisoners to remain with their newborns.

The BC Civil Liberties Association, which was an intervener in the case, says the court decided the charter protects the right of a mother to care for her baby and the Alouette Correctional Centre failed to respect the special role of women as caregivers when it arbitrarily cancelled the program.

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