Who We Help
In the United States, hundreds of thousands of children each year are left behind when their mothers go to prison. Most of the children are sent to live with relatives who are unprepared to care for the additional family members. After being abruptly moved, losing friends, school, home and their mother, the children often suffer from depression, low self-confidence and poor school performance. And they are at risk for suffering these debilitating problems all of their lives.
Research has shown that regular contact with their mothers can make all the difference—calming their fears for their mother’s safety and giving them quality time with their mother, who they love no matter what. Aid to Inmate Mothers (AIM) provides a critical role in keeping incarcerated mothers and their families connected.
Families caring for the children often struggle with financial problems. Most of the children go to live with grandparents who may have health problems—and there is often a generation gap that creates a lot of friction. Many of the grandparents do not drive well, or don’t have a reliable car and can’t take the children to visit their mothers. Years can go by without regular contact, and the mothers run the risk of being a stranger to their children upon release.
Incarcerated mothers long for contact with their children. They think they have totally failed at being a mother, and they feel helpless to do anything for their children. Regular visits maintain their relationship and improve their chances for going home and staying there once they leave prison.
Most incarcerated women intend to regain custody of their children when they return. It is difficult to imagine helping the children if we do not also help the mothers learn to readjust and stay home. Many will leave prison with $10, a bus ticket and little more than the clothes on their back. Without help, these families are not likely to succeed. AIM works with these women and their families while in prison, upon release, and beyond.
Where we help
We serve women at the following facilities:
Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women
8966 US Highway 231
Wetumpka, AL 36092
Montgomery Women’s Facility
12085 Wares Ferry Road
Montgomery, AL 36057
Birmingham Work Release
1216 25th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35234
How you can help
Our work is only possible with help from donors and volunteers who realize the importance of strengthening our community by supporting inmates and their families. Please consider making a donation or volunteering your time to help these women and families!