National

JS Blog Post March 3, 2015

Women Behind Bar: By the Numbers, ABC News Special 2020, Diane Sawyer

Patricia Allard

Diane Sawyer goes into prison over night and speaks with several women about their experience in prison, as well as why they are there. “Most of the women are mothers. 1 in 25 is pregnant when she goes in. Women are the fastest growing group of prisoners in the U.S. compared to men. 63% are jailed for non-violent crimes. 11.1% are in for murder.” [Women Behind Bar: By the Numbers, ABC News Special 2020] Most of the women to whom Sawyer speaks openly discuss how their children have been left behind. Read more »

JS Update February 10, 2015

"Shadow Prisons" Transforming Rural America's Landscapes

Follow this link to see Fusion writers Jorge Rivas and Cristina Costantini's birds-eye-view of how "Shadow Prisons" used to house over 55,000 immigrants, have transformed landscapes in rural America. http://fusion.net/story/43342/before-and-after-how-shadow-prisons-transformed-rural-america/

JS Update February 10, 2015

Director Judy Greene Quoted on Shadow Prisons

In their multimedia Fusion article, with quotes from Justice Strategies' Director Judy Greene, authors Cristina Costantini and Jorge Rivas describe how the U.S. Government has created a second-class federal prison system specifically targeted to holding immigrants in private for-profit prisons. http://interactive.fusion.net/shadow-prisons/

JS Blog Post February 3, 2015

Fifth post - Hill Briefing on Prioritizing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents in the USA - Wednesday, September 4, 2014, Washington, D.C.

Patricia Allard

In this clip, Elizabeth Gaynes discusses the importance of family responsibility statements to advance the rights of children in the criminal justice process.

JS Blog Post January 28, 2015

Fourth post - Hill Briefing on Prioritizing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents in the USA - Wednesday, September 4, 2014, Washington, D.C.

Patricia Allard

Glenn Martin is a criminal justice reform advocate and founder of JustLeadership USA. Glenn addresses the reasons why we need to focus our efforts on decarceration. "I've seen it [decarceration] work, and because I've seen the damage prison causes individuals, families and entire communities."

JS Blog Post January 20, 2015

Third post - Hill Briefing on Prioritizing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents in the USA - Wednesday, September 4, 2014, Washington, D.C.

Patricia Allard

In this presentation to Hill staffers, Patricia Allard lays out opportunities for improvement. With a three-prong recommendation, Pat explores how we can begin to mitigate the impact of parental incarceration on children. Please stay tuned for more segments of this timely Hill briefing.

JS Blog Post January 12, 2015

Second post - Hill Briefing on Prioritizing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents in the USA - Wednesday, September 4, 2014, Washington, D.C.

Patricia Allard

Charles Dalton Telschow performed a moving spoken word piece on September 4, 2014 during the Hill Briefing about prioritizing the needs of children of incarcerated parents. This original piece speaks volumes about the devastating impact of mass incarceration. Stay tuned for more presentations.
 

JS Blog Post January 6, 2015

Hewing a Stone of Hope Out of a Mountain of Despair: The Children of Incarcerated Parents’ Bill of Rights

Gail Smith

“The children of prisoners are guaranteed nothing. They have committed no crime, but the penalty they are required to pay is steep. They forfeit, too often, much of what matters to them: their homes, their safety, their public status and private self-image, their primary source of comfort and affection. Their lives and prospects are profoundly affected by the multiple institutions that lay claim to their parents—police, courts, jails and prisons, probation and parole—but they have no rights, explicit or implicit, within any of these jurisdictions.” – San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership

An estimated 2.7 million children nationwide are left behind by having at least one parent in jail or prison. In 2003, the San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (SFCIPP) developed a Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents, based on the experiences of children. Nell Bernstein, with her groundbreaking book, All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated, helped to launch this initiative. In 2005 they deepened the blueprint by launching the Rights to Realities Initiative, outlining steps toward implementation.  In case you are not familiar with them, here are the eight rights: Read more »

JS Blog Post December 10, 2014

Hill Briefing on Prioritizing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents in the United States -Wednesday, September 3 from 11-12:30pm in RM 2253 Rayburn Building

Patricia Allard

We're please to bring you a series of 5 video-blog posts from a Hill Briefing - Prioritizing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents in the United States - held in the fall of 2014. The briefing was designed to explore how the family integrity needs of children can be addressed at their parent's sentencing hearing. In this post Pamela Clifton, Communications Coordinator for the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, discusses the damaged the criminal justice system brought in her life and the lives of her children, and how her situation and that of many others could be better addressed without the use of prison terms.

JS Blog Post November 3, 2014

How Short-term Guardianships Can Help Protect Parent-Child Relationships

Gail Smith

When mothers are arrested, most make arrangements for their children to move in with extended family members or trusted friends. Arrest and incarceration do not automatically mean that a mother has lost her parental rights. A long line of Supreme Court cases provides Constitutional protections to raise one’s own children and to make decisions about their care. These rights are not always honored in practice as they should be, and it is up to all of us to strive to make those rights into realities.

We often find ourselves fighting the state to preserve rights to custody and visits. But sometimes families pose obstacles as well. We wish that all family members would honor the parent-child relationship, and provide regular parent-child contact with the knowledge that the children need it. But sometimes family drama trumps the children’s best interest. Guardianship cases in Probate Court often end up determining where the children will live, and the future of the family. Read more »

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