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Missouri House passes prison nursery bill

The Missouri House has passed a bill that would create nurseries at women’s prisons for inmates who want to raise their newborns while incarcerated. 

The measure would allow eligible offenders to raise their newborn babies while serving their sentences, from birth up to 18 months – as long as a non-custodial parent doesn’t fight for custody. 

The sponsor, G-O-P House Member Bruce DeGroot of St. Louis County, says it would give mothers the chance to bond with their newborns in those first critical months of life. 

He and other supporters also say it may help reduce the chances of the mother becoming a repeat offender once she’s been released. 

The bill now goes to the Missouri Senate, where its biggest threat is the current deadlock over congressional redistricting that’s eaten up much of the upper chamber’s time.

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