Experimental project for reception in family homes of detained mothers with children is underway


No more children in prison. The experimental project promoted by the region of Tuscany, with the municipality of Florence, goes in this direction, a systemic action that will give some children, children of imprisoned mothers, the opportunity to live their childhood in nursing homes or accommodation and no longer in a prison.
The novelty will be tested in Tuscany thanks to the specific resources allocated by the Ministry of Justice and earmarked for the regions for housing reception projects for mothers detained with their children.

The project, with a strong prevention function, will be formulated over the next two years and may involve three families of mothers with young children in prison (one in 2022 and two in 2023).

Currently, there are no cases of this type in Tuscany, but in Italy today there are 21 boys or girls who are under the age of six and live with their mothers in prison. In February 2020, there were even 59, a reduction largely determined by the Covid emergency, which imposed greater use of alternative measures,

“Experimental project in support of detained parenthood” is part of a national legislative framework under development, but certainly oriented towards Tuscany’s initiative: in fact, a bill was recently approved by the Chamber of Deputies by a very large majority by virtue of which detained mothers have a child up to 6 years with, must be placed in protected family homes.

“Boys and girls in prison do not have to stay there. This project is an important step forward in respecting their rights; and at the same time favoring the restoration of the network of family relationships according to the balanced development of minors, mothers’ autonomy paths, their social reintegration “- highlighted the regional councilor for social policy Serena Spinelli.

“There is no justification – he continued – for a boy or a girl to spend their childhood behind bars; it is an unfair and punitive situation that has negative consequences for its future, with a greater incidence of school dropouts, illegality of children, lack This project therefore aims to guarantee a more appropriate growth environment and, thanks to the synergy between the various institutional issues, social benefits and the third sector, an instrument of social protection with support and accompaniment for the parental relationship.

“This is a pilot project in collaboration with the region – said Florence Welfare Councilor Sara Funaro – which allows us to provide a further answer to the question of parenthood in prison. Children have the right to grow up in an environment that suits their “age and not confinement. We want to protect them and guarantee them a peaceful and balanced future. The experiment will last a few years, and during this period we will try to understand the different needs and then see how we move forward”.

The planning proposed by the Tuscany Region is configured as a systemic action, linked to and linked to the roads for the prevention, promotion and protection of the rights of minors and families developed in all territorial areas.

The project involves the Municipality of Florence, which will be the leader of the actions: The municipality hosts the women’s ward of the Sollicciano prison complex, and this will promote the opportunity to experiment with these paths. But alongside this institutional cooperation, there will be several topics that will participate in the project: the territorial social and health services, the judicial authorities, the UEPE (External Criminal Execution Office), the regional coordination of units in the third sector that manage reception facilities for minors and parents with children called “Pollicino”, the guarantors of the rights of prisoners.

In particular, the project immediately intends to set up an integrated working group coordinated at the territorial level by the municipality of Florence; then identification of structures following the experiments in the large central Tuscany area, mapping of the structures throughout the regional territory with a request for accessibility to welcome through a statement of interest issued by the municipality of Florence; the launch of the interdisciplinary training activity for professionals involved in the reception and support of mother-father-child dyads, carried out by the municipality of Florence in collaboration with the Regional Center for Child and Adolescent Documentation.
Objective to be developed during the pilot project: Preparation of proposals for regional guidelines for the reception of parents in prison with children.

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