National

JS Blog Post October 3, 2017

Join the October "See Us, Support Us" Campaign to Support Incarcerated Children and Their Parents

Lill M. Hewko

 

 

 

The month of October is the See Us, Support Us, a month-long, national campaign to increase supports for children with incarcerated parents by The New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents. During October, you can support children and families separated by incarceration by learning more and sharing what you learn. Read more »

JS Blog Post September 20, 2017

Youth Incarceration Numbers are Down But Racial Disparities are Up--A New Fact Sheet from The Sentencing Project

Lill M. Hewko

Last week The Sentencing Project released its first of three fact sheets on racial and ethnic disparities in youth incarceration. State by state analysis shows that despite long-term declines in youth incarceration overall, racial disparities continue to grow. Read more »

JS Blog Post August 8, 2017

Alternative Solutions: Washington Parental Alternative Sentencing Program Highlights

Lillian M. Hewko

Washington State has been the leader in the creation of an alternative sentencing program that supports families. The numbers available in their most recent “Fact Sheet” (available here) show why need to keep moving in this direction. Not only are a majority of parents successful in the program, many children are able to avoid being placed in foster care and unncessary separation. Read more »

JS Blog Post June 16, 2017

A Father's Day of Action: Join Just Leadership USA and New York Immigration Coalition for a Father's Day Action Monday June 19th

Lillian M. Hewko, J.D.

On Father's Day many of us will be busy making phone calls to loved ones across the country, stopping across town, or gathering in the memory of a father or parent to honor and show our love. But you don't have to stop showing your love this Sunday! Take action this Monday to "Free the Dads!" and parents who are unecessarily separated from their children as they serve time behind bars in state, federal and immigration facilities! Our communities need support and resources, not prisons!

 

Below is a call to action by Just Leadership USA's Communty Organizer Brittany Williams with easy steps for folks to take action in New York and across the nation!

  Read more »

JS Blog Post June 14, 2017

How Can Schools, Teachers, and Counselors Help Children Impacted by Incarceration?

By Megan Sullivan

School’s out. This means teachers, counselors and administrators are beginning the process of reflecting upon what they might do differently next year. One thing they might consider is how they can more adequately address the needs of the 2.7 million minor children who currently have a parent in prison or jail in the United States.

This is the second blog in a three-part series on how we can assist children. In last month's blog I suggested that although the number of adults who are incarcerated and the number of children impacted by incarceration may tell us some things, these numbers cannot convey the entire story as numbers do not reflect the unique and individualized ways in which incarceration impacts any given family. Our approach as advocates and researchers has often created missed connections and opportunities to truly know more of the story. The same could be said about the relationship between children who have parents in prison or jail and the K-12 institutions and staff who serve them. Read more »

JS Blog Post May 26, 2017

A Local Response to the White House: Denver Passes Jail Sentencing Reform & Aims to Help Immigrants, Families and Our Communities

Lillian M. Hewko, J.D.

Just this week, on May 22nd Denver City Council approved a comprehensive bill that reforms sentencing ranges for low level infractions and in doing so will protect immigrants from deportation. As many people sentenced to jail-time are parents, such changes will largely affect children of incarcerated parents by mitigating the negative emotional and behavioral outcomes caused by separation. The changes can also help avoid unnecessary separation and termination of parental rights for those involved in the child welfare system or in family law custody cases. In 2009 alone, more than 14,000 children entered foster care due at least partly due to the incarceration of a parent

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s office proposed the ordinance and stated: Read more »

JS Blog Post May 12, 2017

National Mama’s Bail Out Day: Taking a Stance & Reuniting Families Torn Apart by the Criminal Justice System.

Lillian M. Hewko, J.D.

What is the best way to maintain contact between children and their incarcerated parents? To get them out of jail in the first place! As reported by the Huffington post, this week just before Mother’s Day the Black Lives Matter Movement created “National Mama’s Bail Out Day” to give mothers (queer, trans, immigrant, young, elder and disabled) the greatest give of all—the gift of being with their children instead of being held in jail simply because they cannot afford bail.

Each day the cost of bail is devastating for parents (of all genders), families, and communities across our nation. In California alone, it is estimated that over 60% of individuals are held on pretrial bail—meaning they haven’t been convicted of a crime, they just can’t afford bail. A recent report by Justice Policy Institute found that bail bond companies take billions from low-income people with no return on investment in terms of public safety, and instead, create added costs to communities. Read more »

JS Blog Post May 10, 2017

Children of Incarcerated Parents in the United States: What We Know and What We Still Need to Learn

Megan Sullivan

By: Megan Sullivan*

This is the first of a three-part series on children of incarcerated parents. My thanks to Justice Strategies for allowing me the opportunity to participate in this series.

I come to the topic of children with incarcerated parents from several vantage points. First, I was ten years old when my father was arrested and received a two-to-five-year sentence for larceny. I know firsthand that while the relationship between a parent’s incarceration and a child’s outcomes is not obvious or proscriptive, there are important reasons to pay attention to this relationship. Read more »

JS Blog Post April 21, 2017

No Way Out for Parents Charged with Violent Crimes

Lillian M. Hewko, J.D.

“Now that I have a child of my own, I want to be in her life and show her that I have changed into a responsible adult.” –Daniel Loera, 21 years old, Monroe Correctional Facility

Daniel is one of the 45 percent of men in prison under 24 years old who are fathers. Daniel, featured in our last fatherhood blog, wants nothing more than a second chance so that he can help parent his 4-year old daughter, but Daniel has no no way out anytime soon. He is serving a 7.75-year sentence for an assault he committed when he was 16. With no options for an early release and with his daughter in foster care, he may permanently lose his parental rights. Read more »

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