Children of Incarcerated Parents

The Children of Incarcerated Parents blog is the first national blog dedicated to exploring the impact of parental incarceration on children and families. There are an estimated two million minor children in the United States who have an incarcerated parent. The incarceration of parents not only has a devastating and damaging impact on children, but it also affects their caregivers and the well-being and integrity of their families. Find out more.

JS Blog Post May 22, 2020

Virtual Roundtable on COVID-19 in Prisons & Jails

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Repost from: https://judiciary.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=2959

Democratic Virtual Roundtable on COVID-19 in Prisons & Jails Read more »

JS Blog Post April 21, 2020

The First COVID-19 Death of a Father in Federal Prison Highlights the Ongoing Struggle for Incarcerated Parents and Their Families

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Image: NBC News Headline.

On April 5th, 2020, NBC news reported on the first death of an individual housed in federal prison— Patrick Jones, a father serving time for a non-violent drug charge. The article reports that Patrick had not seen his youngest son, now 16, since the boy was a toddler. This is common as Bureau of Justice Statistics research shows that over half of parents in prison never get visits from their children while incarcerated. This is often due to common barriers that create family separation including distance and cost. Most parents are placed in federal prisons across numerous state lines and costs associated with in-person, phone, and video visitation make it nearly impossible to stay in touch. Read more »

JS Blog Post March 23, 2020

Nationwide Demands Call to Release Incarcerated Parents and Individuals due to COVID-19

Riley Hewko, Esq.

 

Image: We Got us Now Instagram Account

With the emergence of COVID-19, Justice Strategies would like to acknowledge and support children and family members who have been navigating parental incarceration in this difficult time. We realize at this moment many families will be impacted even more intensely by the barriers in communication and the already negligent health care services in our U.S. carceral facilities. From testimonies of children of incarcerated parents, we know children already worry about their parents, especially when prison policies prevent parents from making usual phone or video calls, an experience relayed by 10-year-old D.G. in this interview. To support children of the incarcerated in this moment means helping their parents release to our community and helping them get the health care and housing they deserve. Read more »

JS Blog Post March 23, 2020

Resources & Activities for Children of Incarcerated Parents During COVID-19 Quarantine

Riley Hewko, Esq.

For those families that still have a means of communication with incarcerated parents during COVID-19 quarantine, we complied some helpful resources we have shared before all in one place so families can easily find games and activities that can be adapted for phone calls or email and some books that can be read at home or along with parents by phone/video.

 

RESOURCES

  • book list and other resources for children.

 

 

  Read more »

JS Blog Post February 6, 2020

Parental Sentencing Alternatives - Washington State Factsheet

The Washington State Department of Corrections has released an updated Parenting Alternative Factsheet - Improving Public Safety by Positively Changing Lives.

Allowing individuals to avoid incarceration to parent their children

The Parenting Sentencing Alternative, Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 6639 was enacted in June 2010. This law allows some incarcerated individuals who are parents of minor children the opportunity to avoid prison or transfer from incarceration in order to parent their children. The law has two components:
Family and Offender Sentencing Alternative (FOSA) – Judicial Sentencing Option: Provides judges the option to waive a sentence within the standard sentence range and impose 12 months of community custody along with conditions for treatment and programming for eligible individuals facing a prison sentence.
 

JS Blog Post October 30, 2019

New California Bill to Create Pretrial Parental Diversion Courts

R.B.H.

 

In recognizing the impact of parental incarceration on children in the United States, legislators are listening to those directly impacted by incarceration in order to find solutions to prevent the separation of children from their parents. SB 394, the Primary Caregiver Pretrial Diversion Act, is a new bill signed into law on October 8, 2019 by Governor Gavin Newson and sponsored by Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. The new law will give counties the option to establish a pretrial diversion program for parents and caregivers charged with a misdemeanor or a nonserious, nonviolent felony who:  Read more »

JS Blog Post September 14, 2019

A "Vision for Justice 2020 and Beyond: A New Paradigm for Public Safety" Released

R.B.H.

“It is time for bold ideas. It is time to achieve the change we desperately need: a fundamental transformation and reorientation of the criminal-legal system” –The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

This September, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Civil Rights Corps. Put out a new platform paper “Vision for Justice 2020 and Beyond: A New Paradigm for Public Safety.” The platform calls upon us to address the root causes leading to our high rates of incarceration and the denial of equal rights to millions. By recognizing that the history of our criminal justice system is rooted in racial and economic oppression from slavery, the black codes, convict leasing, Jim Crow laws to the war on drugs, the platform lays out a vision for public safety that is grounded in human rights and upholds the humanity and dignity of all people. The platform is divided into three parts with 14 “planks” calling for change: Read more »

JS Blog Post July 31, 2019

Join Justice Strategies August 6th, 2019 at the National Association of Sentencing Commissions’ Conference

R.B.H.

Join Justice Strategies at the National Association of Sentencing Commissions (NASC) on August 6th, 2019 in Virginia to discuss alternatives to sentencing programs for parents and the efficacy of Family Responsibility Statements.

Monthly Feature

Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People's Movement Western Regional Conference

Convened by All of Us or None & Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

Sunday, September 20th & Monday, September 21st

Formerly incarcerated and convicted people, family members, community and spiritual leaders, elected officials and government employees will all come together to strengthen our relationships and work towards making change through community empowerment. We invite you to Voice your opinion, learn your rights and learn what changes we can make together. All of Us or None Contact: (415)-255-7036 ext. 337 www.prisonerswithchildren.org

FREE REGISTRATION: eventbrite.com