ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES ON NEURAL PLASTICITY, THE LIMBIC SYSTEM,EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & ATTACHMENT, R. Joseph, Ph.D. Brain Research Laboratory "Indeed, humans and animals reared in an abnormal, or deprived and socially and maternally impoverished environment typically displaysignificant reductions in learning, perceptual, intellectual and memory capacity, as well as diminished curiosity and exploratory behavior. 6-8,14-15,26-37 These environmentally induced deficits include a reduced ability to anticipate consequences or to inhibit irrelevant or inappropriate, self-destructive behaviors, and humans and other animals demonstrate severe disturbances in all aspects of social emotional expressive and perceptual functioning."


PSYCHOANALYTIC STUDY OF THE CHILD, 1952; VOL 7: PAGES 69-81., THE ROLE OF BODILY ILLNESS IN THE MENTAL LIFE OF CHILDREN, By Anna Freud, LL. D. (London) 'Far from enjoying the freedom from anxious motherly supervision (as the observer might expect from the mothered child's revolt against her care) motherless children proceed to care for their bodies in an unexpected manner. In an institution known tothe author it was difficult sometimes to prevail upon the child to shed his sweater or overcoat in hot weather; his answer was that he "might catch cold." Rubber boots and galoshes were asked for and conscientiously worn by others so as"not to get their feet wet." Some children watched the length of their sleep anxiously, others the adequacy of their food. The impression gained was that all the bogeys concerning the child's health which had troubled their mother's minds in the past had been taken over by the young children themselves after separation or bereavement, and activated their behavior. In identification with the temporarily or permanently lost mother, they substituted themselves for her by perpetuating the bodily care received from her... When watching the behavior of such children toward their bodies we are struck by with the similarity of their attitudes to that of the adult hypochondriac, to which it perhaps provides a clue. The child actually deprived of the mother's care, adopts the mother's role in health matters, thus playing "mother and child" with his own body.'

"Your daughter will always long for a mother. This is a huge loss in her life, and she will have to come to terms with it at some point in her life. To give you more understanding about this particular wounding, we recommend Motherless Daughters, by Hope Edelman,

Mothering Ourselves, by Evelyn S. Bassoff.

http://www.dadsanddaughters.org/fathers13.htm - Tell your daughter how much you love her mother and how you met and courted her. That will bring you closer because you will be sharing your feelings...In fact, a father's role is a very important one. A father's attitude toward his daughter's mother is also critical in the way she looks at herself and how she expects to be treated by other men in her life.

Kids Need Moms Florence Crane Womens Correctional Facility

http://www.bethany.edu/psych/psychbib/dev/, Loads of infant development resources in the bibliographies here

MOM'S HALO A website for motherless children. Primarily death-related loss, but check it for resources pertinent to mother loss of other kinds


Raising Emotionally Healthy Children Website

Help for Mothers in Jail, From Prosecutors By ALAN FEUER


It is not exactly unheard of to let incarcerated mothers spend time with their children. There are prison nurseries where women are allowed to stay with their infants, and there is at least one behind-bars program, in California, where mothers can live with no more than two of their children age 6 or under.

But in recent months, an intriguing proposal to let female convicts and all of their children live together in a residential setting has surfaced from an equally intriguing source. It has not been offered by a correction department or even a woman's advocacy group, but by the Brooklyn district attorney's office.

The proposed residential center would serve as a refuge for women found guilty of nonviolent crimes, offering them drug treatment, job counseling and education programs while providing their children with day care services and the chance to be raised by their mothers instead of being shuttled between relatives or sent into foster care.

It would be not only the first place in the country to allow a woman convicted of a felony to live with all of her offspring, it would also be the first built and run by a district attorney's office ^× an organization more accustomed to prosecuting criminals than helping them turn their lives around.

"We're trying to break the cycle," said Mary D. Hughes, chief of the crime prevention division in the district attorney's office and one of the project's planners. "A woman goes to prison and she loses her child. That child is six times more likely to be a truant, to get involved with drug use or alcohol or petty crime."

The center is still in the earliest, most tenuous stages of development and, at the moment, exists largely in the optimistic ambitions of its planners. The lot in East New York where they would like to build the center has not yet been bought from the city, and barely a dent has been made in the estimated $10 million needed to get the project started.

Nevertheless, the idea alone has proved compelling enough to attract the interest of city child-welfare officials, advocates for women and some in the private sector. The Bank Street College of Education has agreed to offer advice about educating children at the center, and the white-shoe law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore has signed on to do free legal work.

Members of the planning team have said that even if they now lack land and money, they have plenty of determination and expertise.

"The important thing is to keep working at this until it's finally on its feet," said Theresa Fabi, who works in the district attorney's office with Ms. Hughes.

If all goes according to plan, the district attorney's office will build the treatment center on a 40,000- square-foot lot on Pitkin Avenue in East New York, a neighborhood on the eastern fringe of Brooklyn that accounts for a remarkable 18 percent of all women arrested on felony charges in the borough. The planning team has said it wants to put up a residence for at least 25 mothers out of the hundreds of women who will qualify most of whom will have been arrested for drug violations. Almost half of the mothers will come from East New York.

As envisioned, the center would also have a building for social programs, a playground, a garden, a library, a computer center and a gym.

While the center will have security guards like many private homeless shelters, its residents will not be under strict lock and key. The planners have said that the women who live there will be able to seek permission to leave for jobs or job interviews. The children, they said, will either be tutored at the center or attend schools in the neighborhood.

Even the project's origins were somewhat unconventional. As Ms. Fabi tells it, she came up with the idea while watching a movie on the Lifetime cable channel about an imprisoned woman and her children.

Ms. Fabi then joined forces with Ms. Hughes and approached Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes. They said they knew they would get a fair hearing because Mr. Hynes has a decade- long history of trying offbeat methods to handle criminals and to curb crimes.

In their discussions with Mr. Hynes, Ms. Hughes and Ms. Fabi drew upon a growing body of knowledge that suggests that women are getting locked up these days faster than ever, and that many times, their children are paying the price. According to correction officials, the female inmate population has jumped 650 percent across the country in the last 20 years.

Whether the toll on the child of an incarcerated mother is slight or severe, it is always there, experts say. The children are often shuttled among relatives or wind up in foster care. They are forced to endure the confusing shame of prison or jail visits: pat-downs, clanging doors, metal bars, looking at familiar faces through thick panes of glass. They are more likely to wet their beds, refuse to eat and struggle in school.

"The result of growing up with a mother in prison is alienation and hostility," said Ann Jacobs, executive director of the Women's Prison Association in New York City, which has started tracking this trend.

"Oftentimes, their caregivers can't afford to take them to see their mother in jail and all they know is that she vanished. They suffer untold consequences that last for years."

The current project is similar to Mr. Hynes's other crime-prevention efforts in that the women who qualify will not go to prison at all. But if a woman in the program fails to abide by its rules, planners said, her case would be reopened and she would once again face prison time.

Planners say that the center would also save millions of dollars.

For example, it costs from $60,000 to $70,000 to keep a woman on Rikers Island for a year, Ms. Fabi said. And it costs about $80,000 a year, she said, to hold an inmate in New York City before her trial and then incarcerate her in an upstate prison. But it would cost only about $26,000 a year to house a mother and her family in the residential center where they would receive treatment from drug counseling to legal advice.

In deciding how to shape the treatment center's programs, Ms. Fabi and Ms. Hughes turned to several women who had been imprisoned and lost contact with their children.

When one of them, Tina Reynolds, was sent to the Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, N.Y., six years ago, her past was cluttered with arrests for solicitation and cocaine possession. Her future was clouded by uncertainty and fear.

Ms. Reynolds recalled that the only good thing she had was six children, the oldest of whom was 18, and she was pregnant with a seventh.

These days, Ms. Reynolds is a free woman a well-spoken 42- year-old who lives with her two youngest sons, Davian, 8, and Kai, 6, and spends her time studying for a social work degree and counseling girls at a homeless shelter in Queens.

She said that living with her family again has made all the difference both for her and for the children.

"This place will give women a chance to have what I didn't have when I was in prison time with their kids," Ms. Reynolds said the other day. "When I got out and got my children back, it made me human again. It meant I had to be compassionate and sensitive, that I had to care for someone other than myself.

"Getting my kids back," she added, "meant I had to love."