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Women prisoners’ children suffering

PESHAWAR – A majority of women prisoners are forced to keep their children with them due to lack of support from their families. According to official figures more than 80 children are living in prisons with their mothers.

A woman from Nowshera, who was convicted of drug-trafficking, is in jail with her three daughters below the age of seven, but her son, who was nine-years-old had to go to the section for juvenile offenders, though he had not committed any crime.

The boy had to remain in the juvenile section because he had no other relative to look after him, an office-bearer of a foundation said. The worst sufferers among these children are those whose mothers have been imprisoned for life, mostly in cases of drug-trafficking.

A clinical psychologist working in the jail project of the foundation said that most of these convicts were uneducated. They had husbands who were unemployed, forcing their wives to indulge in crimes, mostly related to drugs. She said many convicted women were reformed after counselling and vocational training but a number of them were habitual offenders.

Source: Dawn

Date:12/15/2004

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