POSTS WITH TAG: moms behind bars

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    A couple in South Carolina has been arrested for abuse of a 7-year-old boy, who was beat repeatedly with a belt and shoes. The victim told police that he was “spanked” on numerous days, and forced to keep soap in his mouth. He had multiple bruises on his shins and rear end. 

    The alleged abusers, Amber Tyler, 27, and Coolidge Mike McDaniel, 29, were charged with child cruelty and released Sunday on a $1,000 bond. 

    The police report said that the little boy was afraid to go home because he might get “spanked” again for telling.

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    Most moms say we'd do just about anything to protect our children. But how far is too far?

    Juanita, who we meet in the latest installment of Moms Behind Bars, landed pretty far on the other side of that line. Some guy bumped into her toddler daughter on the street, and the little girl fell down and was bleeding. Rather than yell at the guy and then calm down and tend to her daughter, Juanita went off. She screamed at him, hit him, cut his face (I'm going to guess with a knife), and pretty much lost her mind, including hiding in an abandoned building with her daughter after the assault until the cops went away and then going on the run for a few days.

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    All of us have made some horrendous mistake as parents that could have, or did, cause harm to our baby. Here's mine: I was rocketing down the expressway with my son in the car, glanced back at him in the rear view mirror....and realized I had not strapped him into his car seat. I still start shaking when I think of what could have happened.

    So it's difficult for me to judge Angelina, who was in prison for selling drugs, which she did to feed her own addiction, and was pregnant when she was sentenced. Like most of the moms in this series, she was allowed to keep her baby with her in the prison nursery. But that didn't last long.

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    It's pretty easy to dismiss the sadness of women who are parenting behind bars. After all, they committed a crime against society...in some cases, a really serious crime. Do they really deserve to see their kids?

    But the fact is, they're moms, just like you or me, and kids need their moms. And in this latest edition of Moms Behind Bars, we meet Assia, who was convicted of robbery and second-degree murder when she was pregnant with her second child and when her first, a daughter, was only seven months old.

    She is at a prison with a nursery, but she was denied permission to keep her son with her so he had to go live with his father, as her daughter does. Despite challenges in that relationship, she's managed to maintain a strong bond with her children and is trying hard to overcome her challenges. She even got an associate's degree this year.

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    Everybody makes bad choices in their life sometimes. That was especially true of Anael, who we met in the last installment of Moms Behind Bars on CafeMom Studios. She was sent to prison for eight years for drug dealing, and her son, then three, was sent to live with his father.

    Several years later, while in a work release program, she got pregnant again. But because she was unable to work at the assigned job while carrying her child, she was sent back to prison. She decided to keep the baby and was accepted into the correctional facility's nursery program, which would allow her to raise her baby there.

    She soon found that life behind bars with a baby was full of unexpected ups and downs.

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    Imagine being separated from your three-year-old for most of his life...never seeing or talking to him for years at a time, and not knowing when you might be able to see him again.

    Breaks your heart, doesn't it? But that's the situation that faced Anael. It was a situation of her own making; she was sent to prison for eight years for drug dealing. But unless you have a heart of stone, you'll be touched by her story:

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