Should a baby join its mother in prison?

I wanted to write ‘a lovely young girl named Stephanie’, then I realised that I am old and she is no longer the little girl who once lived two doors down from me. She is now a beautiful young lady and has, gulp, a child of her own.

So, I’ll recommence:

Yesterday evening, I spotted a very interesting discussion on Facebook started by Stephanie, a gorgeous new mother.

She asked (and I quote): “Should mums in prison be allowed to have their babies in there with them?”

I must admit to being divided on this one. I don’t like the thought of children starting their lives in prison, but on the other hand, as a mum myself, I can see that babies need their mothers.

Where do you stand? Are you you totally against babies joining their mothers in prison? What if the woman was pregnant when she was convicted? Does it depend on the crime she committed? Does it depend on what led her to her crime? Is early life in prison a negative start for a child?

I am looking forward to reading your responses!