TN Prison Uses Simulated Infants In Inmate Parenting Classes


Loretta Phillips teaches inmates in a parenting class in Davidson County, Tn., reports The Tennessean. Each prisoner is given a plastic washtub containing a bottle, a diaper and a facsimile newborn. It is a “baby” that, at the command of a computer chip in its plastic, anatomically correct body, desires to be rocked, have its diaper changed and be fed. The babies are made by Realityworks, a Wisconsin-based company. Phillips believes the inmates “needed some way to learn how to be a parent, how to be responsible.”

The fake babies are expensive, about $500 each, plus the cost of a cart to store them and computer software to program them. Phillips received a $20,000 donation from the Cal Turner Family Foundation for 20 infant simulators and the add-on equipment. Said one inmate in prison on drug charges: “I’ve learned a lot, actually, in this program. I mean, it’s shocking to me, you know, how much it takes to care for a kid. I mean, I had never even changed a diaper.”


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