“Extreme situation”: In North Rhine-Westphalia in 2021 numerous children were given birth to women in prison. In order to prevent trauma for mothers and children, births take place under special conditions.
Imprisoned women gave birth to eight children in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2021. This emerges from the response of the state government to a small request from the Greens in the state parliament. Last year there were even 16 children.
According to the Justice Department, “prisoners are not and have not been handcuffed during childbirth”. Births would take place without guarding, instead the escape routes would be secured. As far as possible, mother and child are accommodated in the only appropriate facility in Fröndenberg.
According to the judiciary, there is space for 16 mothers and 23 children. The facility is part of the open prison. There is no mother-child place in a closed prison in North Rhine-Westphalia. In individual cases, according to the Ministry of Justice, women and children can be transferred to appropriate institutions, for example in Lower Saxony.
“For imprisoned mothers and pregnant inmates, for whom the constant concern for their children can have traumatic consequences, the term of imprisonment is an extreme situation,” said the legal policy spokesman for the Green parliamentary group, Stefan Engstfeld: “The state government must do everything to protect the physical and to protect the mental health of the affected mothers and children and, in most cases, to avoid mother and child separation. “