Dinbilimleri Akademik Araştırma Dergisi, vol.20, no.2, pp.841-869, 2020 (ESCI)
The American criminal and correctional authorities have designed and imple- mented programs aiming rehabilitation of male prisoners alone, for many years, neglecting women prisoners and the correctional works for their problems.1 However, due to the increasing number of female prisoners in United States prisons, the state and federal correctional authorities have faced the fact that they focus on women-oriented problems and their solution.2 The awareness thathas emerged over time has opened the door to the paradigm shift of American correctional authorities towards women. This awareness has led to the initiation of family protection programs in some states to address the needs of women prisoners and their families more respectfully. Moreover, it has led to the launch of several new programs: inmate mothers should be included in educational programs in order to respond to the physical, emotional and psychological needs of their children; those mothers should meet with their minor children and ado- lescents with games and various activities in special and child-friendly rooms outside the normal visiting room; it should be given additional visitation rights for those mothers who participate in parenting trainings; a new mother should be allowed to live with her infant in a private section for up to 18 months.3 In this article, parallel to this paradigm shift especially in the late 90s and early 2000s, some national and local correctional works and projects focused on the needs of female prisoners that was initially neglected but then taken into consid- eration due to the increasing number of women convicts and needs peculiar to them, will be examined. The treatments, medical processes, physical and mental treatment methods required by the clinical psychology offered to the prisoners based on prisoners’ needs are out of our scope. This study, rather, focuses on practices -their effects and efficiency- carried on successfully with combined ef- forts of criminal correctional authorities, psychologists, municipal and church of- ficials, social service experts and volunteers that aim to support female prisoners, especially those with children.