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Prison Born - Incarceration and Motherhood in the Colonial Shadow

Prison Born

Incarceration and Motherhood in the Colonial Shadow

Paperback : 9781779400079, 336 pages, September 2024
Hardcover : 9781779400086, 336 pages, September 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-09-03
Expected to ship: 2024-09-03

Table of contents

List of Tables 
Introduction 

PART I. OBSERVATIONS

1. Sentencing the Newborn
2. Automatic Separation in Canada

PART II. THEORY

3. A Systems View of the Legal System
4. The Colonial Lens: Seeing the “Savage” and the “Dying”
5. Case Study: The Stanley Acquittal

PART III. ANALYSIS: SPATIAL DEFINITIONS IN COLONIAL IDEOLOGY

6. The Instrumentalized Stereotype of the Unfit Indigenous Mother
7. Courts as the Gateway to Indigenous Over-Incarceration
8. Prison Wastelands and the Removal of Children 

PART IV. ANALYSIS: OTHER ASPECTS OF THE SYSTEM

9. Law through the Androcentric Lens
10. Factors that Buffer the Legal System from Change

PART V. SOLUTIONS

11. The Illegality of Shackling a Pregnant Person in Labour
12. How the Law Protects a Newborn from Automatic Separation from Their Mother 195

Conclusion 
Acknowledgements
Appendix A. Canadian Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers of Justice (2023)
Bibliography
Notes 
Index 

Description

A scathing critique of the colonial legal system’s denial of children’s rights

One afternoon in 2016, law professor Robin Hansen receives a call. On the other end of the line is “Jacquie”—a pregnant Indigenous woman, nine weeks from her due date and terrified for the welfare of her unborn son. Jacquie has been sentenced to a custodial prison sentence and her son will be automatically separated from her immediately after his birth.

As Hansen works to help Jacquie with her appeal, she uncovers the legal system’s inherent discrimination against mothers in custody and the children born to them. Using Access to Information requests along with extensive research, Hansen examines the legal rights of these women—the majority of whom are Indigenous—and finds that Jacquie and her son are by no means alone: automatic mother-infant separation without due process remains the norm in most jurisdictions in Canada.

Prison Born calls attention to the colonial and gendered assumptions that continue to underpin the legal system—assumptions that so frequently lead to the violation of the rights and denial of personhood for children and their mothers.

Reviews

“A penetrating critique of judicial insensitivity towards the concerns surrounding Indigenous incarceration.” —David Milward, author of Aboriginal Justice and the Charter

“Insightful and urgently necessary.” —Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich, Carleton University

"A compelling and penetrating account of the injustices of the Canadian legal system.” —David Milward, author of Aboriginal Justice and the Charter and Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice