Convict Mothers Raising Newborns in Prison?

And, what's wrong with requiring a photo ID to vote?


Lawmakers are considering legislation that would study the feasibility of allowing female offenders who give birth in prison to care for their children on site. 

State Rep. DebraLee Hovey, a Republican representing Newtown and in the 112th House District is one of several co-sponsors who support the idea of a nursery facility at the Connecticut Correctional Institution in Niantic.

Susan Quinian, Executive Director of the nonprofit Families in Crisis, Inc. said passage of HB 5288 would help strengthen vulnerable families.

“When offenders go to jail their families do time too,” Quinian said in testimony before the Judiciary Committee. “Offenders who do not have positive family support often re-offend and tragically studies who that their children are more likely to repeat the cycle. The economic and social costs to our citizens and communities are enormous.”

Leo C. Arnone, Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, also supports the bill.

“Research clearly points to the importance of the mother-child emotional and psychological bonds and the fact that strong familial ties factor heavily in successful reentry into the community and lower recidivism rates,” Arnone said in his testimony.


As the U.S. Supreme Court considers the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, the Public Health Committee is considering creating working group to address certain aspects of the Act.

State Rep. Vicki Nardello, a Democrat representing Bethany, Cheshire and Prospect in the 46th House District sits on the committee and will consider HB 5527.  The proposed legislation would create a working group comprised of Commissioner of Public Health, the president of the Connecticut Public Health Association, and representatives of hospitals, health care providers, community health centers and local health departments to study and make recommendations for funding to strengthen community health programs under Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care act. 

The working group would have until Jan. 1, 2013 to present findings.

“Connecticut ahs the fourth highest per capita healthcare spending in the country,” Katherine Lewis, Advocacy Committee Co-chair and President-elect of the Connecticut Public Health Association, said in testimony before the Health Committee. Because of that, Lewis said the proposal to form a working group is “prudent and timely.”


“If you want to buy alcohol, you need to show a photo ID,” said , a Republican representing Fairfield in the 134th House District. “What is so unreasonable about asking for a photo id to vote?”

Hwang, who sits on the Government Administration and Election Committee, said allowing people to register to vote on Election Day was just one of several proposed changes to the state’s election laws. But it is the most controversial. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Secretary of the State of Connecticut Denise Merrill support the bill, which will be debated on the House floor. The bill would require proof of address, including copies of utility bills to register. The Republicans wanted the bill to require registrants show photo identification.

Hwang said because one needs a photo ID to apply for many state benefits, it isn’t onerous to require a photo ID to vote.

“The opposition argues asking for an ID disenfranchises the elderly or a minority population of the population who don’t drive and have drivers licenses, If you don’t one, we [the state] will provide one for you,” Hwang said.

Only eight states allow same day registration and 30 states require photo IDs.

Bernardo March 26, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I have to show my I.D. everytime i show up to vote this just same old fraud that liberal democrat allways use to do anything to stay in power at all cost. P.S. Why is it always democrat vote that always show up hidden in some closet and just enougth to win a race?
Cathryn J. Prince March 26, 2012 at 03:57 PM
To clarify: The GOP had offered an amendment to the bill that would have allowed the state to provide photo IDs for those who don't have one or can't afford one.
Carol Hudak May 08, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Ironic Rep. D.L.Hovey(R) sees the importance of mothers bonding with their children. The Niantic nursery is long overdue. Ironic, since the same Rep. DebraLee Hovey has voted against adult adoptees civil rights to know their birth names and their medical history. Why is the birth mother-child relationship important for inmate mothers, Rep. Hovey, but not important for adoptees? I applaude your co-sponsorship of this bill and shake my head over your (past) 'no' vote for adoptee civil rights.


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