Emory International Law Review


The significant increase in the American prison population over the last three decades generated nationwide discussion about the need for criminal justice reform. This discussion has largely ignored the impact on the children of incarcerated individuals, especially incarcerated mothers. This Comment argues that the United States should make supporting incarcerated mothers and their children a primary focus in its criminal justice system. In doing so, the United States should look to international standards'in particular the Bangkok Rules and the Convention on the Rights of the Child'as well as the criminal justice reform to support incarcerated mothers and their children in Scotland. This Comment proposes that Martha Fineman's vulnerability theory provides the United States with a framework to ensure criminal justice reform is accomplished with a goal of reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience in incarcerated mothers and their children, with broader implications for overall reform.