skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, July 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

MN First State to Ban Infant Separation in Prisons

play audio
Play

Wednesday, July 14, 2021   

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- In a few weeks, Minnesota will become the first state to end the practice of separating newborns from mothers held in prison.

On Aug. 1, the Department of Corrections will shift to placing the child and mother into community alternative settings, such as halfway houses. In Minnesota, the department said, 278 pregnant women were sentenced to prison between 2013 and 2020, most for nonviolent offenses.

Deb Fitzpatrick. policy and legislative affairs director of the Children's Defense Fund Minnesota, said her group was happy to see the policy eliminated. She said she sees it as part of a broader push in the legislative session to ensure all Minnesota infants have better outcomes.

"It shouldn't matter what your ZIP Code is or what your race is," she said. "If you're a baby, you need to get a good start in life."

She also cited an expansion of health coverage to mothers for a full year after the birth of a child. But Fitzpatrick said lawmakers missed some opportunities, such as a paid family-leave program. The infant separation change received broad bipartisan support, with backers noting the old policy is stressful for both infant and mother - and that it serves little purpose, with the median prison stay for a pregnant person in Minnesota at just under five months.

State Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville, played a key role in crafting the legislation. She said the separation policy had been especially cruel, as it added to the racial gaps experienced by women within the correctional system.

"Disproportionately, we have Native women and women of color who are incarcerated," she said, "and then we're doing this practice that kind of exacts this trauma on multiple generations."

Researchers have noted that separation from their babies can make incarcerated mothers more vulnerable to mental-health issues, such as post-partum depression, and affect the child's development as well. Other states have similar programs, but they involve the baby residing at the prison with their mom - which Becker-Finn said lawmakers wanted to avoid.

Disclosure: Children's Defense Fund- Minnesota Chapter contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Children's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at a political event in Grand Rapids, Mich., in early 2024. (The White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Vice President Kamala Harris focused on reproductive rights at a campaign event in Michigan Wednesday. Her remarks come as President Joe Biden has …


Environment

play sound

Construction could begin in Minnesota later this year in the final phase of one of the nation's largest solar energy developments, after state …

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of educators from across the nation will be in Houston starting this weekend for the American Federation of Teachers annual convention…


The Illinois State Board of Education report card said O'Fallon Township High School HSD #203 is currently only funded at 64%. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

By Kristy Alpert for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Terri Dee for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Colla…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Counterfeit medicine sales are on the rise, in Connecticut and nationwide. The state faced trouble with growing sales of counterfeit Xanax pills …

"Arizonans understand that it is insane to risk Phoenix or Tempe for Odesa or some corn field in Ukraine. It is not in our national interest to get involved," said U.S. Rep. Alexander Kolodin, R-Ariz. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 2,400 delegates gathered in Milwaukee this week for the Republican National Convention and delegates from around the country, including …

Environment

play sound

So far, states like Wisconsin have largely escaped the worst of the summer heat affecting much of the nation but a group of scientists wants regional …

Social Issues

play sound

Postsecondary enrollment data for 2023 shows community college enrollment increased nationwide by more than 100,000 students, and a large percentage …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021