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Guidelines for the Implementation of Mother-Child Units in Canadian Correctional Facilities

These guidelines are predicated on the clear and compelling evidence that early mother-infant bonding supports positive future outcomes for the child, and that the child has a right to non-discrimination. In this document, we describe guiding principles, and the practices that are required for optimal child and maternal health inside a correctional facility, including the correctional context, pregnancy, birth, education, correctional and medical care, discharge planning and community partner engagement. In Canadian Correctional Facilities Canadian federal institutions, four years is the upper age for children in mother-child units; therefore, these guidelines cover children up to the age of four years. For the purpose of these guidelines, we define infant as aged 0-1 years, and child as aged 1-4 years. In addition, we use the term ‘correctional facility’ to designate any institution that holds women in custody. A number of community, provincial, and federal partners were engaged in developing these guidelines.

Read the guidelines (in English) (in French)

Author: CCPHE