Children born to incarcerated mothers do well if allowed to bond: researcher (Amy Salmon)

Children can do well when allowed to live and bond with their incarcerated mothers, according to a researcher who has studied mother-baby residential programs in provincial jails. 

Kelly Ellard, who is serving a life sentence for the 1997 beating and drowning death of Saanich teen Reena Virk, is eight months pregnant. While the Correctional Service of Canada would not comment on Ellard’s pregnancy, it is possible the baby could remain with Ellard in federal prison under the mother-child residential program, implemented in 1997. Six children are currently living with their mothers in federal prisons, according to Corrections Canada.

A similar mother-child program exists in provincial jails, the subject of a study by Amy Salmon, a researcher with the Centre for Health Evaluation Outcome Sciences at the University of British Columbia.

Katie Derosa reports

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