An ex-inmate has called on society to consider taking care of incarcerated children who are in correctional facilities with their mothers.
In an Interview with ZANIS, 34 year old Mutafela Masiye who was released from prison this month after saving a five year sentence said, correctional facilities are not conducive for children especially for children under five years.
Mrs Masiye stated that she was sentenced in 2016 with a seven old months baby, Gift Mubiana who lived with her until he was two years old.
She said when her child was two years, a well-wisher Lilato Nawa decided to apply and be a foster mother to him while she continued with her sentence.
She said through a foster mother her son managed to start education and grow up like a free child since the age of two.
She stated that there is need to establish pre-schools for children who have been incarcerated with their mothers so as to help in their upbringing.
She said the prison rooms are closed at 16:30 hours and the children do not have any playing environment.
Ms Masiye said before her child had a foster mother, he was unable to behave the way a child is supposed to because of the walls of the correctional facilities.
She further called on women not to stay in abusive marriages as it has serious consequences on their lives.
Mrs Masiye was sentenced in 2016 for manslaughter and was released in November 2019.
She said many women in correctional facilities with children have no one to take care of their children outside the facility, thereby forcing the child to grow up in that environment.
Meanwhile, the foster Mother Ms Lilato Nawa stated that she was moved to take care of the incarcerated child after the Department of Social Welfare enrolled him at her Pre-school.
Ms Nawa said gift needed a proper home after school unlike going back to the correctional facility with her mother.
And Senanga District Juvenile Inspector Victor Walubita has called on the community to inculcate Zambian values of taking care of every distant family so as to take care of circumstantial children who end up growing in correctional facilities while their mothers are saving the sentence.
Mr Walubita said family values should be strengthened for all children to be a responsibility of a collective community.
Ms Masiye was sentenced in 2016 for manslaughter and was released in November 2019.