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Prisoners: Mothers

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 131528, tabled on 7 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many women who had babies or infants resident with them in prison had those children taken away from them in 2017.

Answered on

16 March 2018

The number of babies and infants leaving Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) is recorded locally, but not collated centrally. The requested information could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

There are many reasons why babies or infants may be separated from their mothers. In all cases where it is proposed that a baby or infant should leave an MBU, a Separation Board takes place. The Board has an independent Chair and advice is provided by Children’s Services. The separation process is carefully planned and sensitively handled. The paramount consideration in all cases is in the best interests of the child.