Prison Lullabies | Chicago Reader

Prison Lullabies

This fascinating 2003 documentary by Odile Isralson and Lina Matta examines a little-known topic: felons who give birth to and rear babies within prison walls. It opens in upstate New York at the Taconic Correctional Facility, one of only five U.S. penal institutions with nurseries, and follows four drug-addicted women as they mother their children through the first years of life, relinquish them to outside caretakers, and finally reenter society themselves. Struggling with the treacherous cycle of rehab and relapse, they try to make peace with extended families that are sometimes leery of enabling more destructive behavior, while throughout the film their children mutely return the camera's unflinching gaze. 83 min.

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