State’s only prison nursery celebrating 10 years

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DECATUR, Ill. -- Inside the Decatur Correctional Center, there is a wall lined with the colorful hand prints of mothers and their children. The only prison nursery in Illinois is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The moms and babies unit currently houses 5 women and 6 babies, including a set of twins.

“Just because you come to prison, it doesn’t stop you from being a mother,” said Warden Shelith Hansbro.

The program aims to help incarcerated mothers maintain strong bonds with their newborns. Since 2007, 75 women have gone through the program and 80-percent have not returned to prison, said IDOC officials.

WGN’s Gaynor Hall reports from Decatur.