Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services

DISTRICT POLICIES

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TITLE: Womens Childrens Wing

POLICY

In an effort to maintain family ties and to allow young children to remain with their mothers, female offenders who meet certain criteria will be allowed to reside in the women's residential facility Children's Wing (C-wing) with their child or children.

No one who has a charge or known history of child abuse or sexual abuse will be allowed to be a resident at the facility as long as there are children in the program.

CRITERIA

  1. The mother must be an adult, female offender who is court ordered to the program
  2. The mother may be pregnant
  3. The child(ren) must be under age five or not yet enrolled in a traditional school setting
  4. Only two children per resident are allowed with a maximum of twelve children residing on the C-wing at one time
  5. The offender must be willing to agree to the terms and sign the agreement for program participation
  6. Must have custody of or have approval to have the child(ren) reside at the facility
  7. The offender must agree to sign releases of information to allow the facility to coordinate services with other agencies
  8. Appropriate childhood vaccinations and immunizations need to be verified prior to admittance
  9. A birth certificate(s) must be provided which notes the offender as the mother of the child(ren) to be admitted

PROCEDURES

  1. All facility staff will be trained in First Aid and CPR for infants and toddlers. Training for child abuse reporting will also be provided to all staff. This training will be provided every 5 years.
  2. The mother is solely responsible for the care and safety of her child (ren) while they are in the facility. The child will reside in the facility room with their mother.
    1. No offender with child(ren) may ask, expect or depend on anyone in the facility to care for or be responsible for her child(ren)
    2. The offender will need to find her own child care when she cannot care for her child(ren), i.e. while at work
    3. All child care locations will be approved by facility staff using the proper form signed by the parent, child care provider and facility staff
    4. The facility may provide on loan to offenders baby monitors and cribs
    5. The facility may assist the mother with resources in the community to address specific needs of the child(ren)
  3. The mother is responsible for proper medical attention for her child(ren).
    1. The intake process will include questions regarding the child(ren) current health status
    2. Medication procedures in place for residents of the facility will be utilized with children
  4. Any food service provided by the facility will meet a child's nutritional and dietary needs.
    1. Mothers are allowed to bring into the facility and properly store in the designated areas the following food items
      1. crackers/graham crackers
      2. granola bars or granola snacks
      3. raisins
      4. fruit
      5. Fruit Roll-ups
      6. juices
      7. milk
      8. baby food items including formula
  5. Children may be transported in facility vehicles.
    1. Facility transportation procedures will be followed.
    2. Except in an emergency, the mother of the child must be present when the child(ren) is in the vehicle
    3. Children must be in an approved safety car seat when they are transported in any vehicle. Car seats are available however the facility does not provide car seats for privately owned vehicles.
  6. Strip searches and pat downs of children will be done in accordance with the search policy.
    1. The mother and a second staff person (when possible) will be present during searches
    2. Strip searches will be done in private and pat and strip searches will be done in the most unobtrusive manner possible
  7. In the case of an emergency, such as medical emergency for the mother, the mother being removed from the program, arrested or escaping , the name provide by the mother at intake will be contacted. If this plan cannot be met, Child Protective Services or the Des Moines Police Department will be contacted. Staff will be responsible for the child(ren) until arrangements are made to pick up the child(ren). The DMPD is responsible for changes of custody in the case of abandonment.
  8. If staff become aware of abuse or neglect, witnesses abuse or neglect or suspects abuse or neglect they must intervene.
    1. Proper authorities will be notified
    2. A management person will be notified
    3. An incident report will be written
  9. Facility management may request removal of a child(ren) if the mother cannot care for the child(ren). A child who loses control by hurting themselves or others may be removed from the program. In serious situations the police or Child Protective Services may be called to remove the child(ren) from the premises
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