Challenges to mothering while incarcerated: Preliminary study of two women’s prisons in Java, Indonesia

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present the characteristics of incarcerated women in two prisons in Java, Indonesia and discuss the specific problems and needs incarcerated women with children face with regard to mothering. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional survey using a semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 399 incarcerated women in two prisons. Focus group discussions provided additional information on mother’s experiences in prison. Findings: This research finds that children’s welfare was an important concern for mothers while in prison and that they faced various problems in maintaining family ties during their incarceration, including distance, costs and time for family to visit (49.3 percent), and challenges to being able to communicate with family and children (26.6 percent). Originality/value: This study contributes to the limited research on incarcerated women in Indonesia, broadly, and on mothering and incarceration, in particular, and suggests that women’s needs as mothers have not been taken into consideration by prisons and the criminal justice system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Prisoner Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019


  • Children
  • Health in prison
  • Indonesia
  • Mothering
  • Women prisoners


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