Why Is Daya's Mom In Prison On 'Orange Is The New Black'? Aleida Diaz Has Made Some Tough Choices

I know Mother's Day was almost a month ago, but Orange Is the New Black is going to be focusing on some maternal themes when Season 3 is released. Orange Is the New Black character Aleida Diaz, better known as "Daya's Crazy Mom," has her own story, beyond simply her terrible parenting advice. But why is Daya's mom in prison? When the show first introduced Aleida, she was shown smacking her daughter across the face, and it turns out Daya's mom went to prison because she consistently put her romantic relationship with drug dealer Cesar before her children, forcing Daya to adopt a maternal role as a teenager. We don't know the exact charge Aleida was given, but in Daya's flashback episode from Season 1, we saw that she took the fall for Cesar.

Because the drug operation was being run out of the Diaz kitchen, it's plausible to assume that Aleida was busted for possession and dealing a significant amount of cocaine. According to the DEA's website, it seems Aleida's crimes would fall under drug trafficking, and carry a hefty prison sentence — she could be spending up to life in prison, but will probably be in there from somewhere between 10 and 20 years, depending on whether or not she was caught with similar amounts of drugs before. Whatever her sentence, Aleida seems surprisingly... OK about it, treating her surrogate family better than her biological family.

In Aleida's mind, her relationship with Cesar is like insurance for her family on the outside. Drugs have provided a job, money, and romance for her. So while not necessarily the right thing to do, it does make sense that she would choose to preserve this relationship rather than risk ratting out Cesar and losing her way to make money.

Instead, she opened her daughter up to the risk of getting caught, and at the same time gave Daya the opening to replace her not just as the "mom" to her siblings, but also as Cesar's hookup... which was mirrored in the show by having Aleida constantly try to corrupt Bennett, first by trying to have sex with him (unsuccessfully) and then by forcing him to become a smuggler. The closest we saw Aleida come to serving a traditional maternal role for Daya was when Gloria stepped in to try to be Daya's mother figure.

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This family could use an opportunity to talk things out, since they have a ton of issues to work on. I think since Daya's pregnancy should be coming to an end soon, they're going to have to confront their mother-daughter relationship. Even though Aleida may be in jail for a long time, ultimately the best way she could redeem herself is to begin repairing her relationship with Daya and her other kids.

Images: K.C. Bailey/Netflix; Giphy