Being a mother in a Mexican prison is tough because of the violent and unsanitary conditions in the facilities. Now an organization is trying to reform the system so kids don’t have to live in a prison.
CCTV America’s Martin Markovits reports from Mexico City.
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Mexican nonprofit makes raising a child in prison easierA Mexican nonprofit organization is trying to reform the system so kids don’t have to live in a prison. CCTV America’s Martin Markovits reports.
Until a few weeks ago, two and a half-year-old Zaid never knew life outside of a jail. He was born in the Santa Marta Prison in Mexico City while his mother, Maribel Vazquez, was serving time for robbery and kidnapping.
Inside the jail, Zaid’s mother found prison life hard. They didn’t have clean water and were locked up in cells full of cockroaches. The danger of the prison population also loomed large, especially for Zaid, since he did not have a father figure in prison.
Reinserta, a nonprofit organization that serves as an advocate for prisoner rights and justice reform, says there are 377 children under the age of six living in Mexican prisons. If the mother remains incarcerated, children over six years old will be placed with a relative or foster care.
Luckily, Maribel Vazquez got an early release with Reinsterta’s help which proved to the court that she was imprisoned on false charges.
But the nonprofit believes children like Zaid should never see the inside of the Mexican jail. According to Global Impunity index, most Mexican prisons are overcrowded by 30 percent, which has made Mexico’s prison system one of the worst in the world.
Reinserta has made some breakthroughs in reforming the criminal justice for children. Thanks to their lobbying, starting in 2018, children of inmates can only live in the prison until the age of three in Mexico’s capital.