WRIGHTSVILLE, Ark. – When a person commits a crime and is sentenced to prison, the miracle of life doesn’t stop. Every pregnant inmate goes to the Hawkins Unit in Wrightsville and waits to give birth.
The unit has a new lactation room. It allows moms to breast feed and pump, and they get to give that back to their kids.
Lindsey Moody and Megan Cargill are inmates at the Arkansas Department of Correction Hawkins Center. Their most important role right now is being new moms.
Moody and Cargill are the first inmates to use the lactation room.
“We come in here every 3-4 hours to pump,” Moody said.
They sit in chairs and do what many other new moms do, breast feed. They store their supply in a freezer and give it to their families once a week at visitation. During that visit, they are even able to physically breast feed their babies.
“It’s a great experience to be able to give him my milk, and give him part of me while I’m not there,” Cargill explained.
Not only is there an emotional bond they share with their babies, it gives their newborns something too.
“Their children get all the benefits from the breast milk so that’s important for the inmates and the children,” deputy warden Bill Inman said.
Inman looked to other states to help put the program in place. He says it creates some sort of normalcy, setting them up for success after they do their time.
“Studies show that it’s important for recidivism issues for child and mother to bond,” Inman said.
On the wall of the room is the tree of life. A place these inmates can grow into mothers and help their babies grow too.
“This program is so near and dear to my heart to be able to bond with my son when I’m not there. I’m excited other mothers get to do this as well,” Cargill said.
To participate, the inmates and the caregivers must agree to follow through with the program.
The full story will air tonight at 10.