Over 350 children living with mothers in prison

Jamal Uddin
Published : 07:30, Jan 29, 2020 | Updated : 07:30, Jan 29, 2020

A general view of Dhaka Central Jail, Keraniganj. PHOTO via prison.gov.bdThere are currently 351 children living with their mothers in prisons across the country. According to prison sources, among them 172 are boys and 179 are girls.
Of the 351 children, there are 103 in Dhaka, 123 in Chattogram, 23 in Sylhet, 41 in Rajshahi, 17 in Rangpur, 26 in Khulna.
As per prison regulations, children below the age of six can stay with their mothers inside the prison. As a result, many children are living within the four walls of the jails.
Psychologists feel that children are coming out with memories of living in an adverse environment.
After entering the prison premises with the mother, a child’s name, age is registered; if needed, the child is sent to the day care centre where a woman deputy jailer looks after the children. As per doctors’ orders, they are given food and necessary medicines.
Tipu Sultan, Deputy Inspector General of Prisons (DIG), said: “The prison authority ensures a healthy environment for the children with proper playing facilities; after a child crosses six, s/he is handed over to any relative outside the prison. If there isn’t any relative, the child is handed to the ministry of social welfare which takes the next steps.”
Youth delinquents over six and below 18 are sent to correction centres.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr Sultana Algin of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), said: “The environment at the prisons is not conducive and leaves a lasting mark on the psyche of the children.”
Sometimes, the child may develop a negative concept about the mother; the prisons should ensure that the children do not realize that their mothers are prisoners, she added.cc