Mother’s Day 2011: not so Purdy – Americas’s PBS documentary


PURDY is an intimate portrait of five offender mothers and their infants. The documentary explores the struggles of raising a child in an institution, the challenges that the women face as they prepare to re-enter the community, and the joy that these women experience as the bond develops between their infants and them.


Photo credit: Cheryl Hanna Truscott.


Photo credit: Cheryl Hanna Truscott.


• One out of seventeen women that enter prison in this country, do so while pregnant.

• Children of incarcerated parents are seven times more likely to become incarcerated themselves as adults.

• Incarcerated women in the state of Washington have an average sentence of fifteen and a half months, which means that half the women currently in prison will be back in the community next year.

• In an effort to break this cycle, the Washington’s Correction Center for women has created a unique program that allows minimum-security inmates serving less than three years the opportunity to live with their babies in a designated unit. The Residential Parenting Program collaborates with Early Head Start to teach the women about parenting and to support healthy attachment, which is critical to an infant’s ability to learn.-KBTC

A sad situation made sadder still with the exclusion of the babies Fathers. The incarcerated women seem to make reference to the Fathers through the term “we”. The term “break the cycle” used by feminists especially relative to DV is used often is heard frequently. The story illuminates some mothers, babies, and the exclusion of Fathers.

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