Gail T. Smith


Gail T. Smith, is the executive director of CLAIM (Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers). She earned her JD at New York University in 1985. She has represented thousands of mothers and their children’s caregivers in court, and has taught family law to thousands of mothers in jail and prison. She drafted Illinois legislation to ban the use of shackles on women during labor and childbirth. Ms. Smith is a founding board member of the National Network for Women in Prison and serves on the board of the Family and Corrections Network. She has testified on issues affecting incarcerated mothers and their children before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Illinois General Assembly. In 2005 she received the YWCA’s Racial Justice Award.

1 submission.

The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997: Its Impact on Prisoner Mothers and their Children
by Gail T. Smith

Gail Smith outlines the reasons the ASFA of 1997 is harmful and detrimental to imprisoned women and their children. With most children of prisoners being in ‘temporary’ foster care, the ASFA actually makes these children legal orphans and breaks any ties that imprisoned mothers and their children once had.

 children-of-prisoners  court-advocacy  motherhood  public-policy