Any woman in prison who is pregnant or is the mother of a child under the age of 24 months can apply to keep her child with her in a Mothers with Babies Unit (MBU) until the day the child turns 24 months old if she:
was the child’s primary caregiver before being imprisoned or is likely to be the child’s primary caregiver on release; and
does not have a conviction for an offence involving sexual or violent offending against children; and
agrees to undergo screening for the purpose of identifying any mental health and substance abuse issues.
Women of any security classification and any sentence status, including remand, can apply to stay in the MBU with her child.
If a woman’s application is approved, no exemption is required for a remand accused woman to mix with sentenced women; this exemption is granted under [section 186(6) of the Corrections Regulations 2005].
The prison director is responsible for deciding whether to approve the application and must ensure a comprehensive report(s) is developed by appropriate staff, such as the social worker.
The social worker will meet with the woman to complete the application assessment [M.03.08.Form.01 Mother with child placement application assessment], and gather relevant information, such as whānau details, key support people, health and wellbeing status of the mother and her child, and alternative care options should they be required.