HOME FOR FEMALE INMATES WITH CHILDREN.
EXPERIENCES IN EUROPE.
European programme Prevention and
fight against crime 2007.
Never again children behind bars
The Province of Milan has recently
opened a home for imprisoned women with children in the Lombardy capital
in Viale Piceno (a main street). The home, opened as of a ministerial decree,
in collaboration with the Milanese Penitentiary Administration, the PRAP
(Regional Penitentiary Administration Superintendency) and Milan City Council,
started life as a pilot institute based on a law of 2001 which foresees
that women, with children under three years of age in exceptional cases
cannot stay in prison.
It is easy to comprehend the difficulties
a small child in an institution can encounter in his psychic-physical development
and even more evident is his difficulty to conjugate the possibility of
growing up to which every child must have access and living together in
a structure addressed to particular types of adults. It should also be
remembered that children often reveal themselves to be an important resource
in the paths of change and growth of the detained women. It was this
premise which moved the project experimented in Milan of the Institution
of Attenuated Custody for Mothers (ICAM).
The project planning was set forth
in the field of the consolidated collaboration with local territorial bodies
with particular reference to the Milanese area and started with the sharing
by all the bodies involved in pedagogic, juridical reflections according
to which the phenomenon, even if not having vast statistical dimensions,
represents an particularly relevant aspect for all society due to the unexpected
spin-offs on the infantile population of their stay in prison. Consequently
society at large is involved in identifying solutions of mediation between
the application of the mother’s custody in prison and guaranteeing the
child a serene infancy.
The child on the one hand and the
mother on the other require specific intervention and in particular it
is fundamental to individualise the ways in which to sustain the mother
during the course of physiological separation from her child and at the
same time supply the child with space and time purposely dedicated to him
allowing him to experiment the reality of a context different from the
We therefore intend to realise a
clear and foreseeable as well as protected context where, through the help
relationship with the operators the women and children can live in situations
similar to the experimented in a good attachment relationship.
THE PROVINCE OF MILANO (PROJECT
LEADER FOR THE EUOPEAN UNION)
MILAN PENITENTIARY ADMINISTRATION
MINISTRY OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION –
USR (REGIONAL SCHOLASTIC OFFICE)
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE – PRAP MILAN
U.O.T. INTRAMURAL TREATMENT
MILAN CITY COUNCIL
OTHER ITALIAN PARTNERS
LABORATORIO SALUTE SOCIALE
BICOCCA UNIVERSITY BICOCCA – SUSANNA
ODESSA – OBSERVER
- Identify out-of-prison detention
experiences for female prisoners with minors under three years of age.
- Exchange of experiences in this
- Experiments in Milan of an operative
model allowing female inmates, who can’t take advantage of alternative
to prison measure to live with their children in a non-penitentiary atmosphere.
- Construction of an operating model
The experimenting in Milan
The project foresees the implementation
of a reality already activated in Milan by the penitentiary structures,
the penitentiary administration regional superintendency, the Province
of Milan, the Milan City Council and the Lombardy Region which has posed
itself the objective of freeing children from the penitentiary situation
where until now they were forced to live with their mothers.
The structure, built as per Article
66 of the penitentiary ordainment, has changed its organisational model
from being an attenuated custody institute (ICAtt) for drug-addicts present
on the national territory to become a detached section of the Milan prison.
ICAM (Attenuated Custody Institute for Mothers) inside the urban context
and in synergy with territorial resources intends on the one hand to avoid
for sons of female inmates the experience of a prison, inserting them in
an context which though respecting the necessary regulations safeguarding
order and security, is similar to normal living contexts. At the same time
it intends to sustain mothers in the process aimed at developing personal
growth potentiality, parental capacities and social rehabilitation.
The European confrontation.
The project wants, by the side of
the Milanese experience, to activate some European confrontation between
some cities in order to diffuse this experimental experience and to be
able to identify adeguate guide-lines on the problems of female inmates
with minor sons.
1 phase: European confrontation between
the partner cities
The project foresees a first phase
of European confrontation on the theme of the situation of female inmates
with children, through study an confrontation meeting exchanging experiences
and good practices.
The meetings foresee visits to the
various partners and their local realities working on the theme and, through
interviews and questionnaires, the collection of information on the different
situations in Europe. Three local meetings are planned
Winter, 2008 (to be defined)
Spring-Summer, 2008 (to be defined)
Autumn-Winter, 2008 (to be defined)
In each meeting seminar moments of
information and confrontation on the diverse realities and visits to services
working on the theme female inmates and children (penitentiary institutions)
2nd phase: experimenting in Milan
The second phase of the project
from Winter, 2008 to Summer, 2009, will vert on the implementation of the
Milanese experiment of the attenuated custody institute for mothers (ICAM).
Objectives of the Milanese project:
• facilitate mother/child relations
even with possible sons abroad
• favour enjoyment by children,
between 0 and 3 years, of the education services for primary infancy
• use of the territorial social-heath
• preparation and accompanying in
the process of separation of the child from its mother on reaching 3 years
In this phase, the Italian partners
will study the progress of the experiment, the problems emerging and the
operating model proposed.
3rd phase: diffusion of the results
The third and final phase of the
project foresees the diffusion of the results of the experimented model
during a European conference in Milan to be held in Spring-Summer, 2009
with the participation of delegates from diverse European cities.
The diffusion of the model will also take place in various European scientific
and institutional assembly seats.
18 MONTHS From December, 2007 to