Skip navigation
Prisoner Education Guide

Guidelines for Implementation of Mother-Child Units in Canadian Correctional Facilities, CPPHE, 2015

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF MOTHER-CHILD UNITS IN CANADIAN
CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
August 2015

This document is published and distributed by The Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education (CCPHE)
The University of British Columbia, 2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Tel: 604-827-4976, Toll free: 1-855-999-4976
www.ccphe.ubc.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
It can be copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes provided that the original author is given credit.
Please reference this document in all reproductions.

Graphic Design by David Ko: designgradient@gmail.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS
4		

Introduction

5		

Guiding Principles

6		

Best Practices to Support the Guiding Principles

6			
6			
7			
7			
8			
9			
9			
10			
12		

Best Practices for the Correctional Context
Best Practices for Pregnancy
Best Practices for Birth
Best Practices for the Care of Woman/Child in Correctional Facilities
Best Practices for Medical Care
Best Practices for Education
Best Practices for Discharge Planning
Best Practices for Evaluation

Appendices

12			
13			
14			
18			
19			
20			
22			

Appendix 1 – Glossary
Appendix 2 – The Writing Processes
Appendix 3 – Acknowledgements
Appendix 4 – Panel Presentations During the Working Meeting
Appendix 5 – Recommended Educational Materials
Appendix 6 – References
Appendix 7 – Endorsement of the Guidelines

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

3

INTRODUCTION
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.
The best interests of the child must be of a primary concern, including her/his safety and security, and the physical,
emotional and spiritual well-being of the child. It is in the best interests of the child to remain with her/his mother,
to breastfeed and be allowed to develop a healthy attachment.(1) The wide range of psychological, physiologic
and developmental harm caused by separation of a child from her/his mother is well documented.(2–4) Recent
epigenetic evidence demonstrates that a newborn’s attachment to her/his mother is critical to her/his longterm healthy development.(5)
Women who are expected to give birth while in custody, or who are the primary caregivers of dependent
children, should remain in the community where ever possible. The justice system should make all effort to
seek supportive community alternatives to custody for these women.(6)
Throughout the world, incarcerated women tend to be young and of childbearing age, often lacking financial
resources and poorly educated.(7) In addition, many incarcerated women have experienced physical and sexual
abuse and traumatic childhoods, which in some cases has led to substance use and mental health issues.(7) In
2003, an estimated 20,000 Canadian children were separated from their mothers because of incarceration.(8)
Aboriginal people face extremely high rates of incarceration and involvement/interaction with the justice
system. Aboriginal people - meaning First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) - in Canada face additional
discrimination, because of the long-term multigenerational effects of colonization, intergenerational trauma,
attempted cultural genocide and ongoing racism. In addition, the powerful impact of the social determinants of
health for Indigenous peoples result in health inequities.(9, 10) The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples recognizes the right of Indigenous families and communities to retain shared responsibility
for the upbringing, training, education and well-being of their children.(11) This Declaration has been endorsed
by Canada, but has yet to be implemented.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) have established minimum standards
regarding the rights of the child and the rights of the family.(12,13) The standards, which have been endorsed by
Canada, were incorporated into the writing of these guideling principles.(10) In addition, the WHO recommends
exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and breastfeeding up to two years of age.(14–16)
The Canadian landmark decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, December 2013, stated that the
decision to cancel a provincial correctional facility mother-child unit infringed the constitutional rights of
mothers and babies.(17) When community alternatives to custody are not possible, mother-child units are
beneficial, and these benefits have been demonstrated internationally. For example, mother-child units in
correctional facilities allow children to bond with their mothers in a safe and supportive environment and allow
mothers to develop positive parenting and social skills.(18–20) Through this lens, incarceration can be viewed
as a transformative period for mothers and their children. A collaborative interdisciplinary, inter-agency
approach can achieve this by promoting stability and continuity for mother-child health and relationship in and
beyond the correctional facility.
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
Guidelines for the Implementation of Mother-Child Units in Canadian Correctional Facilities

4

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.(21) 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.

Guiding Principles
1.	 The best interests and safety of the child are a primary concern in addition to the rights of the mother.
2.	 Protection of the family unit is at the core of our societal value system and is entitled to protection by the
state. The woman defines who are members of her family unit.(22)
3.	 Preserving the integrity of the mother-child relationship should be a priority at all times and is the
responsibility of all service providers. Any practice that separates a child from her/his mother (for any
reason other than the safety or well-being of the child or the well-being of the mother), and does not
provide for the maintenance of the mother-child relationship, harms the family unit.
4.	 Canadian correctional gender-based statements of philosophy affirm that correctional practices should be
responsive to the needs to women both inside a correctional facility and in the community. (23,24)
5.	 As explained in the introduction, all efforts should be made to seek out supportive community alternatives
to custody for women giving birth during their sentence.(1)
6.	 Child safety is the shared responsibility between the child protection authorities and the ministries of
health and justice (including correctional staff and hospital staff).
7.	 Women are incarcerated for many reasons, and only some reasons are associated with child protection
concerns. Therefore, correctional mother-child care should be reviewed on a case by case basis, with child
protection authorities’ involvement in cases only where deemed appropriate
8.	 Woman centered care should be implemented in correctional facilities, using the same standards as the
community, recognizing that incarcerated women are valued as key informants for all decisions for their
care and their future, including defining their own family.(22) (See guiding principle 2)
9.	 Pregnant and parenting incarcerated women should be informed of their choices and rights.
10.	 Women’s religious, cultural and spiritual customs and beliefs relating to pregnancy, giving birth and
parenting should be respected without compromising safety and security.(25)
11.	 Respectful and trauma informed care that is sensitive to the needs of those recovering from past trauma
and/or substance use challenges should be offered to all incarcerated women; correctional staff  should
be responsive to the impacts of physical, psychological and/or sexual violence in women’s lives.(26, 27)
12.	 Pregnant or postpartum incarcerated women should receive appropriate individual holistic health care, in the form
of an individualized health care plan, which is developed in collaboration with a qualified health practitioner. Within
correctional facilities, pregnant and postpartum women, and their babies and children, should be offered adequate
and timely nourishment, a healthy environment and regular exercise opportunities, similar to that offered in the
community.(1)
13.	 It is important to identify and build on strengths and protective factors of incarcerated women, their
families and their communities.(22) Focusing on protective factors, such as improving housing and
nutrition, can improve outcomes for mothers and their children, thereby reducing harm.
14.	 When planning for release, a continuum of help should be accessible and offered to women and their
families, in order to support and to respect women’s goals for change. In addition, integrated case
management, including continuity of medical care, should be actively supported on release to community,
in order to nurture and stabilize mother-child relationships.
15.	 Collaborations are fostered between correctional facilities/ministries and community health organizations/
ministries in order to provide seamless care for mother-child unit participants.

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

5

BEST PRACTICES TO SUPPORT THE GUIDING
PRINCIPLES
1. Best Practices for the Correctional Context
a.	 Incarcerated mothers and their children up to the age of four years are eligible to participate in motherchild programs in correctional facilities.
b.	 The child protection threshold for determining that the child can live with the mother should be the same
as applied to situations in the community.
c.	 If any mother is precluded from the mother-child program, an automatic expedited review process
should be available for the decision to be reviewed. The mother should have access to an advocate, either
designated or one of her choosing.(28)
d.	 When a mother and child are accommodated at a correctional facility, an interdisciplinary inter-ministry
team will be involved in dialogue with the mother, which may include:
i.	 If child protection is involved in the case, representatives from the Child Protection Authority,
including the primary social worker and the leader of the team responsible for the planning and
decision making for the child.
ii.	 Representatives from the provincial or federal Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) and the
Ministry of Justice, including the case coordinator, warden or her/his designate, and the health care
manager in the correctional facility.
iii.	 Clinicians involved in her care including attending physician, or midwife, nurse or social worker,
maternity unit manager or charge nurse.
iv.	 Mother and members of the immediate or extended family (as identified by the mother).
v.	 This team may also include as needed:
1.	 Aboriginal (FNIM) advisor/Elder and/or band representatives with relevant cultural/
language fluency;
2.	 Addictions counselor from the community, facility or hospital;
3.	 Community or public health nurse;
4.	 Spiritual advisor.
e.	 The decision process (to accommodate the mother and child) should be timely so that no interruption in
bonding and attachment occurs following birth and so that stress is minimized. The stress caused by the
possible separation of the mother with her infant may cause detrimental effects to the pregnancy and child.
f.	 In order to preserve the confidentiality of women accessing community resources, it is beneficial for
correctional officers to be non-uniformed when accompanying mother (and child) into the community. It is
strongly recommended that restraints are not used.
g.	 It is beneficial that the mother and the correctional facility sign an individualized parenting agreement that
outlines the conditions under which the child will reside within the correctional facility.

2. Best Practices for Pregnancy
a.	 All incarcerated women should have timely access to pregnancy testing. The correctional health care
manager should alert the local hospital as soon as the incarcerated woman reaches her third trimester of
pregnancy.
b.	Timely discharge planning should begin at the time of confirmation of pregnancy. See section 7 below for
more details.
c.	 Pregnant women should be provided access to, and encouraged to participate in, pre-natal classes and
parenting programs, either in a correctional facility or in the community.
Guidelines for the Implementation of Mother-Child Units in Canadian Correctional Facilities

6

d.	 Consideration should be given to providing pregnant women with suitable employment and recreation,
which ensures a balance of rest, healthy activity/exercise and participation, and access to cultural support
to promote emotional and spiritual health.
e.	 Health care in a correctional facility should recommend products to address common discomforts of
pregnancy. (e.g. extra pillows or blankets, ice pack or heating pads).
f.	 Pregnant women’s increased nutritional needs should be taken into account and provided for.
g.	 Pregnant women should be given, where possible, the option of services in her pregnancy from the health
region of the correctional facility, which might include the option of midwife and/or doula services, as well
as trauma informed care and counseling.
h.	 Pregnancy and birth during incarceration can be traumatic. All efforts should be made to provide clear and
timely access to health care during this time.
i.	 Women should be encouraged to identify a person to support her during labour and delivery; this could
include a doula, a family member or friend.
j.	 All pregnant women should be offered culturally safe and competent pre-natal, delivery and post-natal
care. For example, Aboriginal practices should be accommodated upon request and where possible.

3. Best Practices for Birth
a.	 The correctional health care manager should have alerted the local hospital about the date of confinement
when the woman reaches her third trimester of pregnancy. (See 2b) 
b.	 The health care provider (physician or midwife), in collaboration with the woman, should create an
individualized health care plan for the woman and her baby for the intra-partum and post-partum period, as
well as for her return to the correctional facility.
c.	 At the onset of regular contractions, the correctional facility should notify the hospital and/or health care
provider (physician or midwife) as previously arranged, prior to moving the woman from the correctional
facility.
d.	 At the onset of regular contractions, the correctional facility should also at this time notify the woman’s
identified support person. (See 2h).
e.	 The woman should be given the opportunity to speak directly with health care staff (either her health care
provider at the correctional facility or hospital staff) prior to leaving the correctional facility.
f.	 The woman giving birth should be escorted to hospital by at least one female correctional staff.
g.	 Where security levels permit, the best practice would be for escorting correctional staff to be absent from
the delivery room, during the birth and labour, unless requested by the woman. If the woman requests the
correctional staff to remain in the delivery room, the woman should provide verbal consent with a health
care provider as witness. It should be made clear that the woman can change this consent at any time.
h.	 According to international standards, no mechanical restraint may be used at any time during labour and
delivery, and immediately after birth, under any circumstances.(1)

4. Best Practices for the Care of Woman/Child in Correctional Facilities
a.	 It is important that correctional staff are empathetic and knowledgeable when dealing with women and their
children in the correctional setting. Therefore, additional staff orientation and training should be provided
for both community and institutional correctional staff. (See Education 6c)
b.	 Staff roles may include: escorting women to activities outside of correctional facilities (community agencies),
supporting mothers to provide relevant activities for their child/children, supporting the mother to participate in
parenting programs.
c.	 When escorting a child to medical or other community appointments, the mother is responsible for the
care and safety of her child. Both the mother and the correctional officers should receive instruction on
Guidelines for the Implementation of Mother-Child Units in Canadian Correctional Facilities

7

d.	
e.	

f.	
g.	

h.	

i.	
j.	

k.	

l.	
m.	

the correct use of safety equipment such as car seats. The mother should accompany the child to any
community appointments and programs. In the event that the mother is unable to accompany her child,
alternative pre-approved child escorts should be used.
Placement of other incarcerated women into the mother-child unit should be on a case by case basis. A mix
of mothers and selected non-mothers is recommended.(29,30)
The woman should be allowed access, where practicable, to a range of social outlets, work and life skills
activities, consistent with that available to other women in the correctional facility. Access to ceremony,
elders and culturally relevant activities should be facilitated. The woman’s primary responsibility is to her
child, and this should be taken into account when establishing her sentence plan.
If the woman is breastfeeding, she should have access to a private place for breastfeeding whenever the
baby needs to breast feed.(31)
Only mothers, approved babysitters, and health care personnel should be allowed to care for the babies/
children. In the case of an emergency, where safety and security are deemed to be at risk, staff in the
correctional facility may handle the child in order to mitigate the emergency situation. As for any infant in
the community, no one should touch an infant unless the mother gives her prior approval.
Mothers should nominate other women as babysitters. Applicants for the babysitter positions should be
screened. If approved, babysitters should receive orientation and training and should sign an agreement
that contains applicable rules.
Each mother should have a crib beside her bed for her baby to sleep in, to promote holding and caring for
their baby around the clock.
All efforts should be made to ensure a safe environment for the infants and children. Opportunities to
access community programs for the mother and child should be facilitated, such as, parenting, recreational
activities, first aid and early childhood development programs. If custodial status does not permit the
mother access to the community, the community agencies should be encouraged to provide these
opportunities within the correctional facility.
It is recommended that a two-way process is developed for communication and information between the
mother and correctional staff. It was valuable to identify a consistent information source (i.e. a designated
staff person) to aid in resolving communication issues.(30)
In cases where Child Protection Authority is involved, visits with the mother, child and/or extended family
should be arranged with Child Protection Authority consultation.
The mother-child unit environment should be child age appropriate. This includes age-appropriate
equipment, toys, books, play areas (indoors and outside) and child safety-proofed living areas.

5. Best Practices for Medical care
a.	 Having an opiate dependent pregnant woman go through withdrawal may be harmful for the baby. If opiate
using at the time of delivery the newborn may need to be assessed for medical and or opiate withdrawal.
(32,33)
b.	 The woman should have access to appropriate medical care and access to the routine pre-natal and postpartum checks as for any woman in the community. All pregnant women should be offered the community
equivalent standard of prenatal care including assessment for health issues such as HIV and hepatitis C,
and to obstetrical consultation as needed.
c.	 The infant/child should have access to medical care and well-baby health developmental checks, in
collaboration with community health services, as for any child in the community. For example, medical care
and follow up may be performed by the physician and health care professionals at the correctional facility,
and also by community public health nurses.
d.	 Correctional facility health care staff who are assigned to female correctional facilities are encouraged to

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

8

participate in continuing medical education (CME), as required by their respective professional licensing
organization, that is linked to maternal and child health care.

6. Best Practices for Education
a.	 Education about providing non-judgmental and respectful care, for mother and child regardless of previous
life experience and history, including exposure to substances, is recommended for all groups listed in 6.c.
below.
b.	 Education and training about cultural competency is recommended for all of the groups listed in 6.c.
below. An example of cultural competency training is the on-line Indigenous Cultural Competency Course,
Provincial Health Services Authority.(34)
c.	 Specific education, is recommended for the following groups, as guided by the correctional facility’s local
health ministry or authority:
i.	 Correctional staff education should include: evidence regarding healthy long-term outcomes (e.g.
breast feeding, maternal-infant bonding and epigenetic evidence); caring for infants and mothers;
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation; basic child safety and safe
utilization of equipment (i.e. car seats); maternal-child attachment; when to call medical/nursing;
support and understanding of breastfeeding; trauma informed care; training and awareness in
recognizing child protection concerns;
ii. Correctional health care staff (e.g. physicians and nursing staff) education should include CME about
infant care, and pre- and post-natal care (See also 5d);
iii. Community hospital staff providing pre-, intra- and post-natal care for incarcerated women education
should about their role in facilitating incarcerated women to become mothers and caregivers.
Maximum provision should be made for mother-baby interaction (i.e. skin-to-skin at birth, rooming in,
breastfeeding, cuddling/holding the baby) as for any woman in the community;
iv. Community agencies that provide services inside correctional facilities should receive education that
orients them to the correctional context;
v. Incarcerated women should have access to individualized, life-skill education and training to build
their competencies in caring for children inside the and in the community. This education should
include: shopping and budgeting; food preparation and cooking; infant and child development/
behaviour; infant and child nutrition; basic housekeeping skills; and, age-appropriate child-safety
environments.

7. Best Practices for Discharge Planning
a.	 According to international standards, a best interests assessment of the child should be followed:(1,35)
i.	 The child should be respected as a person and acknowledged as the most vulnerable party in
the proceedings;
ii.	 Placement decisions should take central account of the child’s important relationships of attachment;
iii.	 The child should be provided with a stable, long-term living situation as soon as possible;
iv.	 Whoever is caring for the child in the role of parent should be able to provide a suitable standard of care.
b.	 In order to prepare for a successful community release that ensures continuity of care, the following
discharge planning processes should occur:
i.	 The woman must be involved in all aspects of her discharge plan, so that she may articulate prior to
her discharge, her concerns and her need for supports;
ii.	 Discharge planning should begin with the woman and the interdisciplinary/agency team when

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

9

pregnancy is confirmed;
iii.	 Discharge planning meetings should continue throughout the duration of the woman’s sentence;
iv.	 A process should be in place, articulated and documented, regarding the specific supports and
follow-up for the woman and child in the community;
v.	 A Child Protection Authority representative or social worker may be assigned to individual cases, or to
the correctional facility, in order to facilitate discharge planning.
c.	 The following discharge planning supports should be considered for mother and child:
i.	 Continuity of health care providers and medical care for mother and child, which includes the sharing
of medical information between health care providers with woman’s consent;
ii.	 Housing support;
iii.	 Relevant community support;
iv.	 Extended family involvement, and/or placement;
v.	 If relevant, community substance use treatment and support;
vi.	 If the woman is from a First Nations community, the woman’s return to her community should be
supported, with the necessary links to community based programs and services.

8. Best Practices for Evaluation
a.	 All research evaluation projects must be governed by the Canadian Tri-Council Policy Statement Research
Ethics Review Board Processes, which includes policies on confidentiality and participation.(37)
b.	 Future Mother-Child Program evaluations should be informed by the following UN recommendations:
i.	 Efforts shall be made to organize and promote comprehensive, result oriented research on the
offences committed by women, the reasons that trigger women’s confrontation with the criminal
justice system, the impact of secondary criminalization and imprisonment on women, the
characteristics of women offenders, as well as programs designed to reduce reoffending by women,
as a basis for effective planning, program development and policy formulation to respond to the
social reintegration needs of women offenders;
ii.	 Efforts shall be made to organize and promote research on the number of children affected by their
mothers’ confrontation with the criminal justice system, and imprisonment in particular, and the
impact of this on the children, in order to contribute to policy formulation and program development,
taking into account the best interests of the children;
iii.	 Efforts shall be made to review, evaluate and make public periodically the trends, problems and
factors associated with offending behaviour in women and the effectiveness in responding to the social
reintegration needs of women offenders, as well as their children, in order to reduce the stigmatization
and negative impact of those women’s confrontation with the criminal justice system on them.
c.	 Correctional institutions routinely collect data to assess recidivism rates, in order to evaluate the effectiveness
of programs in reducing recidivism rates. As such, the following question should routinely be addressed, “Are
changes in women’s incarceration rates associated with women’s participation in correctional facility mother
child programs?” (Small sample size and lack of appropriate comparison groups might preclude causal links.)
d.	 When a correctional institution establishes a mother-child unit, a program evaluation framework should
be developed to assess how effectively the program is being implemented. Thus, multi-method evaluation
data might be collected for any or all of the 49 items mentioned above in practices to support the best
practices to support the guiding principles: 1. Best practices for the correctional context (a-g); 2. Best
practices for pregnancy (a-h); 3. Best practices for birth (a-h); 4. Best practices for the care of woman/child
in correctional facilities (a-m); 5. Best practices for medical care (a-d); 6. Best practices for education (a-c);
and, 7. Best practices for discharge (a-c).
e.	 Longer-term outcome research is needed to establish the impact of mother-child units. Academic

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

10

institutions, and community health organizations, should be encouraged to foster research collaborations
with correctional institutions to conduct multidisciplinary, mixed-method (qualitative and quantitative), longterm, prospective evaluations of the anticipated changes in maternal and child health that may result from
the implementation of best practice maternal child programs in correctional facilities. Research factors to
be considered might include:
•	 Infant/child: Do children demonstrate maternal attachment/bonding? What was the duration of
breastfeeding? Were age-appropriate childhood developmental milestones achieved? Longer-term health
and social indicators (e.g. future involvement with Child Protection Authority)? What impact does motherchild units have on factors relating to child mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health?
•	 Mother: In what ways did the mother complete her own goals? Did she learn what she hoped to learn?
In what ways was this experience transformative? What impacts has this experience had on mother’s
long-term health? What impact does mother-child units have on factors relating to mother’s mental,
emotional, physical and spiritual health?
•	 Correctional impact: What is the impact of the mother-child unit on the health and social well-being
of other incarcerated women and of correctional staff? On other aspects of correctional practices,
programs and experiences?
•	 Cultural aspects: What is the impact of this experience on families’ generational legacy of maternalchild separation (e.g. incarceration, foster homes and/or residential schools)? How are mother and
child welcomed into her community/family following her release? How are mother’s feelings of role
security and identity?
•	 Community release: Is there supportive housing upon release? Is there on-going support (life-skills,
parenting, financial, public health) for mother-child dyad following release? Is there family support
following release?
•	 Economic factors: Is there a return on investment (i.e. investing in early childhood)?   	

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

11

APPENDIX 1 – GLOSSARY
Aboriginal is a term used in the guidelines to include three groups of people in Canada: First Nations, Inuit and
Métis (FNIM).
Attachment is a concept applied to the infant/child relationship with the mother and other caregiving figures
and is a neurobiological process in the child which takes place over the first years of life; is categorized
as secure or insecure (with the latter characterized as avoidant, resistant or disorganized); becomes a
system that is triggered to protect the child during situations of fear, illness, or harm; creates a pattern for
establishing later relationships; and is predictive of the child’s social and emotional development.
Bonding is a concept applied to the early mother-infant relationship, particularly during the neonatal period,
which describes the mother’s positive affect toward the infant and her comfort with proximity to the infant
including gaze, vocalizations, affectionate touch, and skin-to-skin contact. (Bonding is a different concept
than attachment and the two terms should not be used interchangeably).
Correctional Facility is the term used in the guidelines to designate any correctional institution that holds
women in custody.
Cultural Safety refers to an encounter in which the client feels respected and empowered, and that their culture
and knowledge has been acknowledged. Cultural safety refers to the client’s feelings in the encounter, while
cultural competence refers to the skills required by a professional to ensure that the client feels safe.

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

12

APPENDIX 2 – THE WRITING PROCESSES
The Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education (CCPHE) hosted a working meeting on March 14th and March
15th, 2014, at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, to generate best practice evidence-based guidelines.
Experts were invited to present, during the working meeting, during four panel discussions entitled, ‘the rights
of the child’, ‘the correctional context’, ‘pathways and programs’ and ‘evaluation’.
Stakeholder organizations were invited to contribute to the writing of the guidelines by selecting delegate
representative(s), who would participate in the working meeting and who would review/edit the draft guidelines.
All meeting delegates were invited to consent to video- and audio- recording during the meeting. Presentations
and discussions were recorded (using typed field notes, hand-written notes, video- and audio- recording and
PowerPoint slides) and selected audio-recordings were subsequently transcribed by volunteer assistants.
The CCPHE contracted Sarah Payne to write an initial guideline framework, based on her analysis of the
meeting proceedings. The guideline framework was edited in an iterative manner as follows:
•	 Each transcriptionist compared and contrasted the codes and themes emerging in each transcription
with the guideline framework, and highlighted any new major themes; new themes were incorporated
into the guideline framework;
•	 All transcriptions and meeting data were reviewed a final time, seeking any ‘new’ major themes that
were not already included in the guideline framework;
•	 Finally, we reviewed and cited the international resources and research publications, which had been
presented by experts as evidence during the working meeting.
All members of the planning committee reviewed and approved the draft guidelines. The draft guidelines
were circulated to all meeting delegates, inviting comment and edits. Each editing comment received was
compared and contrasted with the ‘data’ that were generated during the working meeting, and was considered
individually for inclusion into the guidelines.
In June 2014, all meeting delegates received the penultimate version of the guidelines, to be forwarded to the
organizations that they represent inviting endorsement of the guidelines.
Appendix 7 includes a list of organizations that have endorsed the guidelines at the time of publication
(August, 2015).

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

13

APPENDIX 3 – ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We gratefully acknowledge the following organizations for providing unrestricted financial support to CCPHE
for the Mother-Child Prison Health Working Meeting:
•	 Interior Health Authority
•	 First Nations Health Authority
•	 Native Youth Sexual Health Network
•	 University of the Fraser Valley, Centre for Safe Schools and Communities
•	 Vancouver Island Health Authority
•	 Women’s Health Research Institute
•	 Provincial Health Services Authority
The following representative delegate(s) of stakeholder organizations participated in the working meeting and
the editing process.
Aboriginal Mother Centre Society

Chelsea Bowers

Aboriginal Mother Centre Society

Lulla Sierra Johns

BC Civil Liberties Association

Grace Pastine

BC Corrections, Alouette Correctional
Centre for Women

Ardith Watson

BC Corrections, Alouette Correctional Centre
for Women

Bonnie Smith

BC Corrections, Alouette Correctional Centre
for Women

Debbie Hawboldt

BC Corrections, Aouette Correctional Centre
for Women

Barbara Collis

BC Corrections, Alouette Correctional Centre
for Women and Justice Institute

Martina Cahill

BC Corrections, Research Evaluation and Planning

Carmen Gress

BC Government and Employee Services Union
BC Ministry of Children and Family Development
BC Ministry of Children and Family Development,
Child Welfare and Youth Services Policy, Policy and
Provincial Services
BC Ministry of Health, Healthy Development and
Women’s Health Directorate

Jan Wilson
Yasmin Remtulla
James Wale
Carolyn Solomon

BC Women’s Hospital

Cheryl Davies

Bonding Through Bars

Samantha Sarra

Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network

Jessica Danforth

Canadian Friends Service Committee

Sarah Chandler

Collaborating Centre for Prison Health
and Education

Ben Fussell

Collaborating Centre for Prison Health
and Education

Debra Hanberg

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

14

Collaborating Centre for Prison Health
and Education

Ruth Elwood Martin

College of Family Physicians of Canada,
Maternal and Newborn Care

William Ehman

Contracted Advisor for Incarcerated Mothers

Alison Granger-Brown

Correctional Service of Canada

Chantal Allen

Correctional Service of Canada,
Fraser Valley Institution

Nellie Taylor

Correctional Service of Canada,
Fraser Valley Institution

Marie Verbenkov

Correctional Service of Canada,
Fraser Valley Institution

Elizabeth Watt

Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver

Jodi Sturge

Family Help Trust, New Zealand

Libby Robins

Fir Square Program, BC Women’s Hospital

Georgia Hunt

First Nations Health Authority

Naomi Dove

Fraser Health Authority

Sarah Kaufman

Fraser Health Authority

Pam Munro

Fraser Health Authority

Michelle Urbina-Beggs

Health and Early Learning Project (HELP), UBC

Michele Sam

Institute of Health Economics and Bonding
with Babies Society

Amy Salmon

Native Youth Sexual Health Network

Krysta Williams

New Zealand Department of Corrections

Tracy Cherie Tyro

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

Lara-Lisa Condello

Office of the Correctional Investigator of Canada

Ivan Zinger

Representative for Children and Youth Office

Melanie Mark

Retired health care manager, Fir Square Program,
BC Women’s Hospital

Sarah Payne

Retired Warden, BC Corrections

Brenda Tole

Retired Warden, Correctional Service of Canada

Nancy Wrenshall

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
of Canada

Elizabeth Harrold

Surrey Women’s Centre

Noreen Baker

University of British Columbia, Midwifery

Saraswathi Vedam

University of British Columbia, Midwifery

Allison Campbell

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

15

University of British Columbia, Department
of Paediatrics

Andrew Macnab

University of British Columbia, Department
of Psychiatry

Adele Diamond

University of the Fraser Valley, Criminology Faculty
Vanier Centre for Women/The Birthing Well
Collective/The Barbra Schlifer Clinic

Hayli Millar
Lisa Marie Thibodeau

Westcoast Family Centres Society

Freeza Anand

Westcoast Family Centres Society

Wendy Fitzjohn

Winteringham MacKay Law Corporation

Janet Winteringham

Women in2 Healing

Amanda Edgar

Women in2 Healing

Christine Hemmingway

Women in2 Healing

Mo Korchinski

Women in2 Healing

Devon (and Dallas) MacDonald

Women in2 Healing

Pamela Young

	
Skype participation:
Center for Children and Families,
Columbia University, New York

Mary Byrne

Retired warden, Bedford Hills Correctional
Facility for Women, New York

Elaine Lord

	
We gratefully acknowledge the following people for their invaluable assistance, including administrative
help with the meetings, transcribing and thematic analysis:
University of the Fraser Valley, Centre for Safe
Schools and Communities

Jess McBeth
Shawnda Johnston
Alejandra Almendares
Desiree Menning

Kwantlen University
CCPHE and UBC MPH program

Alex Nunn

UBC, Psychiatry Residency

Pulkit Singh

	

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

16

We acknowledge the following professional assistance:
•	 Debra Hanberg and Renee Turner for coordinating the public event on March 13th and the working
meeting on March 14th and 15th, 2014;
•	 Robert Turner, of Circle Production Company, for video recording the meeting;
•	 Sarah Payne in leading the drafting and writing of the guidelines.
Members of the Planning Committee:
•	 Mo Korchinski, Women in2 Healing
•	 Jessica Danforth, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network
•	 Brenda Tole, BA, retired prison warden
•	 Amy Salmon, PhD, Institute of Health Economics
•	 Alison Granger-Brown, MA, PhD, contracted advisor for incarcerated mothers
•	 Debra Hanberg, Project Coordinator, Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education
•	 Ruth Elwood Martin, MD, FCFP, MPH, Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education

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

17

APPENDIX 4 – PANEL PRESENTATIONS DURING
THE WORKING MEETING
Panel 1 – The Rights of the Child (facilitator Jessica Danforth)
•	 Michele Sam PhD (cand), Ktunaxa Nation, UBC HELP
•	 Ivan Zinger JD  PhD,  Executive Director and General Counsel, Office of the Correctional Investigator of
Canada
•	 Melanie Mark, Associate Deputy Representative, Advocacy, Aboriginal and Community Relations,
Representative for Children and Youth, Burnaby
•	 Janet Winteringham QC, Counsel for BC Civil Liberties Association
•	 William Ehman MD, Maternity and Newborn Care Program, College of Family Physicians of Canada
Panel 2 – The Correctional Context (facilitator Debbie Hawboldt)
•	 Tracy Tyro, Acting Prison Manager, Christchurch Women’s Prison, Dept. of Corrections, New Zealand
•	 Chantal Allen, Senior Project Officer, Interventions and Policy, Women Offender Sector, Correctional
Service of Canada
•	 Nancy Wrenshall, retired warden  (Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women and Fraser Valley Institute)
•	 Brenda Tole, retired warden (Alouette Correctional Centre for Women)
•	 Mary W. Byrne PhD, Director, Center for Children and Families, Columbia University, NY (via Skype)
•	 Elaine Lord, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, New York (via Skype, over lunch)
Panel 3 – Pathways and Programs for Maternal Child Health (facilitator Alison Granger-Brown)
•	 Libby Robins, Director of Family Help Trust, New Zealand
•	 Lisa Marie Thibodeau, Vanier Centre for Women/The Birthing Well Collective/The Barbra Schlifer Clinic
•	 Devon, a woman who lived with her baby in a BC prison Mother Baby Unit
•	 Sarah Payne RN, former health care manager, Fir Square Program, BC Women’s Hospital
•	 Naomi Dove MD, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, First Nations Health Authority
•	 Yasmin Remtulla MSW, BC Ministry of Children and Family Development
Panel 4 – Evaluation (facilitator Mo Korchinski)
•	 Michele Sam PhD(cand), Ktunaxa Nation, UBC HELP
•	 Andrew Macnab MD, Professor, UBC Department of Pediatrics
•	 Amy Salmon PhD, Director of Institute of Health Economics
•	 Carmen Gress PhD, Director of Research and Planning, B.C. Corrections, Ministry of Justice
•	 Mary Byrne PhD, Director of Center for Children and Families, Columbia University, New York (via
Skype)

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

18

APPENDIX 5 – RECOMMENDED EDUCATIONAL
MATERIALS
1.	 Indigenous Cultural Competency Course. On-line education. Provincial Health Services Authority. Available
at http://www.culturalcompetency.ca/
2.	 KidCareCanada website (www.kidcarecanada.org) Video materials to help mothers and staff to understand
the everyday measures that are known to help maternal child interaction and promote health infant
development.
3.	 Rourke Baby Record.(38) Available at http://rourkebabyrecord.ca/national.asp (38)
4.	 Children of Prisoners. University of Huddersfield (6)

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

19

APPENDIX 6 – REFERENCES
1.	 United Nations. United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures
for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules). Gen Assem. 2011;(March).
2.	 Child, Family and Community Service Act [Internet]. Chapter 46 Canada: Queen’s Printer, Victoria, British
Columbia; Available from: http://www.bclaws.ca/Recon/document/ID/freeside/00_96046_01
3.	 Howard K, Martin A, Berlin LJ, Brooks-Gunn J. Early mother-child separation, parenting,
and child well-being in Early Head Start families. Attach Hum Dev [Internet]. 2011 Jan [cited
2013 Dec 2];13(1):5–26. Available from: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.
fcgi?artid=3115616&tool=pmcentrez&rendertype=abstract
4.	 Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, Chew P, Magula N, DeVine D, et al. Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health
outcomes in developed countries. Evid reporttechnology Assess [Internet]. 2007;153(153):1–186. Available
from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17764214
5.	 Murgatroyd C, Spengler D. Epigenetics of early child development. Front psychiatry [Internet]. 2011
Jan [cited 2014 Jun 2];2(April):16. Available from: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.
fcgi?artid=3102328&tool=pmcentrez&rendertype=abstract
6. Jones AD, Wainaina-Wozna AE. Children of Prisoners. UK: University of Huddersfield; p. 658.
7.	 Zinger I. Federally Sentenced Women. Prison Mother-Child Health. Vancouver: Collaborating Centre for
Prison Health and Education; 2014.
8.	 Cummingham A, Baker L. Waiting for Mommy: Giving a Voice to the Hidden Victims of Imprisonment
[Internet]. Prevention. 2003 p. 1–70. Available from: www.lfcc.on.ca/cimp.html
9.	 Reading CLR, Wien F. Health Inequalities and Social Determinants of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health [Internet].
Prince George; 2009. Available from: http://www.nccah-ccnsa.ca/docs/social determinates/nccah-loppiewien_report.pdf
10. The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), particularly
Article 16. Available from: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/cedaw.pdf
11.	 United Nations. United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples. Resolution 61/295. United
Nations General Assembly [Internet]. United Nations; 2007. Available from: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/
unpfii/en/drip.html
12.	 Convention on the Rights of the Child [Internet]. Geneva; 1989. Available from: http://www.ohchttp//www.
ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx
13.	 WHO. The Right to Health, Fact Sheet N0. 31 [Internet]. Geneva; 2008 p. 1–52. Available from: http://www.
ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/Factsheet31.pdf
14.	 WHO | Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative. World Health Organization; [cited 2012 Feb 7]; Available from: http://
www.who.int/nutrition/topics/bfhi/en/
15.	 Madadi P, Hildebrandt D, Lauwers AE, Koren G. Characteristics of opioid-users whose death was
related to opioid-toxicity: a population-based study in Ontario, Canada. PLoS One [Internet]. 2013 Jan
[cited 2013 Aug 19];8(4):e60600. Available from: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.
fcgi?artid=3618438&tool=pmcentrez&rendertype=abstract
16.	 Kramer MS, Kakuma R. The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding. [Internet]. Journal of Advanced
Nursing. 2002. p. 62–3. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869667
17.	 Ross HMJ. Inglis v. British Columbia (Minister of Public Safety). Vancouver; 2013. p. 190.
18.	 Byrne MW, Goshin L, Blanchard-Lewis B. Maternal Separations During the Reentry Years
for 100 Infants Raised in a Prison Nursery. Fam Court Rev [Internet]. 2012 Jan 1 [cited 2013
May 28];50(1):77–90. Available from: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.
fcgi?artid=3275801&tool=pmcentrez&rendertype=abstract
19.	 Cassidy J, Ziv Y, Stupica B, Sherman LJ, Butler H, Karfgin A, et al. Attachment & Human Development
Enhancing attachment security in the infants of women in a jail-diversion program. 2010;(November
2013):37–41.
Guidelines for the Implementation of Mother-Child Units in Canadian Correctional Facilities

20

20.	 Robins L. Mother and Baby Prison Units: An investigative study [Internet]. 2012. Available from: Retrieved
from http://www.communitymatters.govt.nz/vwluResources/WCMT_Libby_Robins_2011_F inal/$file/
WCMT_Libby_Robins_2011_Final.pdf
21.	 Commissioner’s Directive number 768. Institutional Mother-Child Program [Internet]. Ottawa; 2002 Sep.
Available from: http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/plcy/cdshtm/768cd-eng.shtml
22.	 Sam M. Indigenous Methodologies. Mother and Baby Prison Health Working Meeting. UBC, Vancouver: The
Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education; 2014. p. Panel 4.
23.	 BC Public Service Corrections - Alouette Correctional Centre for Women [Internet]. 2013. Available from:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjrrr8BB-0A
24.	 Government of Canada CS of CWOSSDC for W. Ten-Year Status Report on Women’s Corrections, 1996-2006
- Status Report - Publications - Correctional Service of Canada. 2002 Sep 1 [cited 2014 Apr 3]; Available
from: http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/publications/fsw/wos24/principle_themes-eng.shtml
25.	 Health Professional working with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Consensus Guideline. J Obstet Gynaecol
Canada [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2014 Jun 13];35(6, S2):S1–S48. Available from: http://sogc.org/wp-content/
uploads/2013/06/gui293CPG1306E.pdf
26.	 Poole N, Urquhart C, Talbot C. Women-Centred Harm Reduction. Vancouver; 2010. Report No.: Vol 4.
27.	 Thibodeau LM. Doula program in a provincial jail, the Birthing Well Collective. Mother and Baby Prison
Health Working Meeting. UBC, Vancouver: The Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education; 2014.
p. Panel 3.
28.	 M.03.02.08 Children in Prisons Application Assessment, NZ Department of Corrections.
29.	 Lord E. verbal communication, retired prison warden, Bedford Hills, NY. 2014.
30.	 Tole B. verbal communication, retired warden ACCW. Vancouver; 2014.
31.	 Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative [Internet]. World Health. New York; 2006. Available from: http://www.who.
int/nutrition/topics/BFHI_Revised_Section1.pdf
32.	 CPSBC. Methadone Maintenance Program: Clinical Practice Guideline [Internet]. Vancouver; 2014. Available
from: https://www.cpsbc.ca/files/pdf/MMP-Clinical-Practice-Guideline-2014-02.pdf
33.	 SOGC. Substance Use in Pregnancy: SOGC Clinical Practice Guideline. J Obs Gynaecol Can [Internet].
2011;33(4):367–84. Available from: http://sogc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/gui256CPG1104E.pdf
34.	 PHSA. Indigenous Cultural Competency Course [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jun 15]. Available from: http://www.
culturalcompetency.ca/
35. Tyro T. New Zealand Mothers with Babies Units guided by the best interests of the child. Prison MotherChild Health Working Meeting. UBC, Vancouver: The Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education;
2014. p. Panel 2.
36.	 Determining the Best Interests of the Child [Internet]. Geneva; 2008. Available from: http://www.unhcr.
org/4566b16b2.pdf
37.	 Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans [Internet]. 2010. Available
from: http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/pdf/eng/tcps2/TCPS_2_FINAL_Web.pdf
38.	 Uide GI. Rourke Baby Record: Evidence-Based Infant/Child Health Maintenance Rourke Baby Record:
Evidence-Based Infant/Child Health Maintenance. 2014.

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

21

APPENDIX 7 – ENDORSEMENT OF
THE GUIDELINES
Organizations that endorsed the guidelines at the time of publication (August 2015):
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	

Aboriginal Mother Centre Society, Board of Directors
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
British Columbia Women’s Hospital
Bonding Through Bars
Canada FASD Research Network
Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
Center for Children and Families, Columbia University, New York
College of Family Physicians of Canada
College of Midwives of British Columbia
Elizabeth Fry Society, Greater Vancouver
Family Help Trust, New Zealand
First Nations Health Authority
Fraser Health Authority
Native Youth Sexual Health Network
New Zealand Department of Corrections
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
University of the Fraser Valley, College of Arts, Dean and Faculty
University of the Fraser Valley, Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research
University of the Fraser Valley, Centre for Safe Schools and Communities
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Westcoast Family Centres Society
Women in2 Healing

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

22

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

23

 

Advertise here

 



 

Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual

 



 

Federal Prison Handbook

 



 


 

Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual