Babies Behind Bars

Santa Martha Acatitla is a maximum security women's prison in Mexico City. Many of the women are incarcerated for either drug offences or kidnapping. Each conviction carries an average sentence of 10-20 years. 

The jailed women are allowed to raise their own children with them in until the age of 6 years old, when the children are forcibly removed. 

Many of the babies were conceived during conjugal visits, by fathers who are either in a separate prison for decades-long sentences, or have no interest in maintaining a relationship with their child on the outside. 

The issue raises questions over the potential to rehabilitate the mothers or cause developmental issues for the children. 

Photographs by Ronit Novak

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