Education: Bachelor of Science in psychology and sociology (criminology) (May 2016)
McNair Project: Mothering and Co-Parenting in Prison (2015)
Mentor: Lisa Melander, Ph.D.
The number of mothers in the prison system has been a growing problem for many years. Some of the concerns associated with maternal incarceration are what happens to the children and who takes care of them upon incarceration. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between mothers and the caretakers of their children on the outside. Thirty-four semi-structured interviews with inmates actively participating at the Topeka Correctional Facility's Women's Activity and Learning Center (WALC) were conducted to investigate the relationship between the inmates and their co-parents. The initial themes that are arising within the study are whom the co-parent was, how well they worked together or got along, and understanding the quality of the inmate co-parent relationship. Future qualitative and quantitative research will explore the parent/co-parent relationship and how that in turn affects the inmates' behavior in prison and their relationship with their children.