Christmas comes but once a year – even for young mothers serving prison sentences. In Italy some convicted mums are allowed to have their children with them as they do time. The Rebibbia women’s prison in Rome lets toddlers under the age of three stay with their mothers in a special creche wing during the festive period giving them some quality time with their children. This year there are about a dozen youngsters helping to make jail feel a little bit more like home.
Inmate Jelena Jankovic said: “Although you joke, you laugh and you exchange presents you are always inside the prison, A person who spends Christmas and New Year’s Day here without their children and relatives is surely suffering.”
Majitita Cirmic wasn’t so lucky. She said: “How did I spend my Christmas? Sad. Because it was without my children. I also have another daughter at home, it was painful because all the other children were here with their mothers. Volunteers were giving them presents, while mine was at the hospital.”
The tinsel may not disguise the prison bars but for the 15 mothers detained there over Christmas and New Year, at least they can be confident of a good meal and a little festive cheer.