Mara Schiavocampo Reports: Mothers behind bars By Mara Schiavocampo 11:00 AM on 04/12/2010 Not only is the Ohio Reformatory for Women considered the oldest women's prison in Ohio, it is the state's largest female prison with 2,500 inmates. In a lot of ways it's exactly what you'd expect. And then, there's the unexpected. Ohio's prison is also home to those found guilty of no crime -- nine babies. Their mothers are inmates. In most cases, babies born in prison are whisked away within hours, to relatives or foster care, but at this facility the infants move in with mom, behind bars. When Takaya Patterson came to the reformatory she was six months pregnant and scared. She was locked up on a theft charge, and had left behind her two-year-old daughter. She thought she'd have to part with the baby she was carrying next. "I didn't know what was going to happen, if my child was going to go to foster care," said Patterson. But at the Ohio facility, Patterson had access to the prison nursery program, allowing non-violent offenders with short sentences to raise their newborns until they're one year old in a unit isolated from the general population. Now, Takaya's cellmate is seven-month-old son Takeem. "I think babies do belong with their mothers whether it's in prison or not," continues Patterson. Prison officials agree, saying the goal of the nursery is to help the babies by not depriving them of a parent. The program provides everything these mothers need such as clothes and shoes, food and formula, toys and TV. READ MORE QUESTION: Should babies stay with their mothers behind bars?