Photos: Italy’s Bollate, a prison that doubles as a children’s creche | Hindustan Times
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Photos: Italy’s Bollate, a prison that doubles as a children’s creche

Updated On Nov 10, 2017 11:37 AM IST

With its warm colours and toy-filled rooms, the Biobab nursery in Milan looks just like any other, but this is daycare with a difference. Located inside the medium security Bollate prison, children of female inmates, of employees, and also children from families living in the neighbourhood play and learn together in this unique experiment.

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Children meet a dog during an exercise at the Bollate Penitentiary nursery, on October 12, 2017 in Italy. Located in the grounds of Milan’s medium security Bollate prison, a novel kindergarten welcomes the children of detainees, guards and local residents to what staff describe as an innovative and successful social experiment. (Marco Bertorello / AFP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 10, 2017 11:37 AM IST

Children meet a dog during an exercise at the Bollate Penitentiary nursery, on October 12, 2017 in Italy. Located in the grounds of Milan’s medium security Bollate prison, a novel kindergarten welcomes the children of detainees, guards and local residents to what staff describe as an innovative and successful social experiment. (Marco Bertorello / AFP)

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An educator (L) holds the hand of a child outside the Biobab nursery at Bollate Penitentiary. Opened as part of facilities to improve the wellbeing of staff, the creche was initially little used with prison employees reluctant to switch from their established childcare arrangements. Opening it up to the public brought an unexpectedly enthusiastic response from the prison’s neighbours. (Marco Bertorello / AFP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 10, 2017 11:37 AM IST

An educator (L) holds the hand of a child outside the Biobab nursery at Bollate Penitentiary. Opened as part of facilities to improve the wellbeing of staff, the creche was initially little used with prison employees reluctant to switch from their established childcare arrangements. Opening it up to the public brought an unexpectedly enthusiastic response from the prison’s neighbours. (Marco Bertorello / AFP)

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The 24-place nursery is currently full. Eight places are taken by children from outside the prison, between two and five by the toddlers of prisoners, and the rest by the staff’s youngsters. For prisoners’ children, the nursery offers enormous stimulation that helps to offset the potentially negative developmental impact of having a mother in detention, says Dafne Guida, director of the nursery. (Marco Bertorello / AFP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 10, 2017 11:37 AM IST

The 24-place nursery is currently full. Eight places are taken by children from outside the prison, between two and five by the toddlers of prisoners, and the rest by the staff’s youngsters. For prisoners’ children, the nursery offers enormous stimulation that helps to offset the potentially negative developmental impact of having a mother in detention, says Dafne Guida, director of the nursery. (Marco Bertorello / AFP)

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An educator plays with a child in the nursery of Bollate Penitentiary, in Milan. The arrival of the local kids created a positive effect, their presence making the nursery more attractive for staff and since December 2016, the prison has run a section to accommodate female inmates and their very young children, who have also joined in. (Marco Bertorello / AFP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 10, 2017 11:37 AM IST

An educator plays with a child in the nursery of Bollate Penitentiary, in Milan. The arrival of the local kids created a positive effect, their presence making the nursery more attractive for staff and since December 2016, the prison has run a section to accommodate female inmates and their very young children, who have also joined in. (Marco Bertorello / AFP)

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A man holds the hand of a child on their way to the nursery in Bollate Penitentiary. The idea of sending children to the prison had parents apprehensive at first but understanding the project changed minds. “Even if it is a prison creche, you don’t need to actually go into the prison or through any controls,” Federica Ridolfi a local mother said, explaining that the nursery has its own entry. (Marco Bertorello / AFP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 10, 2017 11:37 AM IST

A man holds the hand of a child on their way to the nursery in Bollate Penitentiary. The idea of sending children to the prison had parents apprehensive at first but understanding the project changed minds. “Even if it is a prison creche, you don’t need to actually go into the prison or through any controls,” Federica Ridolfi a local mother said, explaining that the nursery has its own entry. (Marco Bertorello / AFP)

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Children are introduced to the world of horses at the Bollate Penitentiary’s nursery. With no distinction made between the children, the nursery sends a message about integration and breaking down walls. Inside, experts organise nature and animal-based activities, making use of the prison’s large garden and play areas. (Marco Bertorello / AFP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 10, 2017 11:37 AM IST

Children are introduced to the world of horses at the Bollate Penitentiary’s nursery. With no distinction made between the children, the nursery sends a message about integration and breaking down walls. Inside, experts organise nature and animal-based activities, making use of the prison’s large garden and play areas. (Marco Bertorello / AFP)

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An educator plays with children in the nursery of Bollate Penitentiary. Simona Gallo, a prison educator feels, “It’s important that the children of prisoners, who have not committed any crime, can spend time in a ‘normal’ environment. That is also the sense of my work, the aim of prison after all is rehabilitation.” (Marco Bertorello / AFP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 10, 2017 11:37 AM IST

An educator plays with children in the nursery of Bollate Penitentiary. Simona Gallo, a prison educator feels, “It’s important that the children of prisoners, who have not committed any crime, can spend time in a ‘normal’ environment. That is also the sense of my work, the aim of prison after all is rehabilitation.” (Marco Bertorello / AFP)

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Prison educators have seen significant improvement in the behaviour and interaction of inmates’ children with other kids. “Being able to play with lots of other children is very positive. And when we go into the prison with photos and films to show the mothers the progress they’ve made, you can see their eyes light up watching their kids doing the same stuff as all the others”, said Valeria Caenazzo of the Stripes cooperative running the nursery. (Marco Bertorello / AFP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 10, 2017 11:37 AM IST

Prison educators have seen significant improvement in the behaviour and interaction of inmates’ children with other kids. “Being able to play with lots of other children is very positive. And when we go into the prison with photos and films to show the mothers the progress they’ve made, you can see their eyes light up watching their kids doing the same stuff as all the others”, said Valeria Caenazzo of the Stripes cooperative running the nursery. (Marco Bertorello / AFP)

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