Chapter Activities

Activity 1:

Describing Motherhood While Incarcerated

Describe for students the challenges associated with parenting from a variety of perspectives: financial, psychological, emotional, and so on. Encourage students to describe how these challenges might be exacerbated when the mother is incarcerated. Ask students to consider why these challenges might be different for mothers who are incarcerated compared to fathers who are incarcerated? Next ask them to describe how such challenges might exist for fathers as well.

Based on these discussions, have students devise a detailed plan for programming to improve mother–child contact during stays of incarceration. Encourage students to consider the following:

  • What types of contact would improve mother–child interactions and long-term relationships? Might these differ across children’s ages? If yes, how so?
  • What are the long-term consequences for both mother and child due to separation at various developmental periods during childhood?
  • How can logistical barriers (e.g., distance, phone calls) be reduced or overcome to encourage prosocial interactions between mother and child?

Activity 2:

Female Inmate Subculture

For this writing assignment, students will pretend they are preparing a 5-min speech to teach their classmates on the female inmate subculture. Students will write about the following:

  • How would you begin your speech?
  • What is the main message of your speech?
  • What key information would you include?
  • What details are essential to convey to other students?
  • What evidence will you include to support your description?

Students should not only describe the female inmate subculture but also compare and contrast it to the male inmate subculture described in Chapter 9. What is different, what is the same, how is the prison subculture different in female institutions?