What happens when a mother of small children is “put on a time out”? At Oregon’s Coffee Creek Women’s Prison, the Family Preservation Project (FPP) helps inmates hone their parenting skills as it facilitates regular family visits. While imprisonment is hard on both prisoners and their families, Mothering Inside demonstrates that not all is lost when the prison helps sustain the parent-child relationship.
Shooting in a verité style, filmmaker Brian Lindstrom strives for unobtrusiveness as he records what he observes, uncovering the story along the way. Before our eyes, Lindstrom’s work morphs into a piece of advocacy. In the midst of filming, the Oregon Department of Corrections announced it would stop funding the FPP, and the viewer shares the heartbreak of the mothers suddenly faced with the prospect of losing their children all over again. (An end card notes that the program was rescued from the budget knife, but perhaps only temporarily.)