Keep Oklahoma inmates and their families connected

Keep Oklahoma inmates and their families connected

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Chelsea Colwell started this petition to Oklahoma Department of Corrections and

Families are shaken and torn apart with the recent Oklahoma DOC policy change disqualifying certain minors from visiting their incarcerated loved ones.

As of August 28, 2019 DOC will no longer allows minors to visit unless they are immediate family member of the inmate. This means children who are nieces, nephews, cousins or family friends are prohibited from  visiting inmates who are in Oklahoma DOC custody.

The connection with inmates and their loved ones is sometimes the only hope and joy for people serving time behind bars. Allowing minors, who now do not qualify, visit their loved one will be beneficial for the mental health of the inmate, the children, and all family involved. The end objective here is to keep inmates relationships with family and loved ones strong. Paying the price of their crimes is one thing. Tearing apart the hearts and families of those incarcerated is demoralizing.

Review and research for over 20 years shows the positive effects of family visits on those incarcerated. The connection at visits promotes inmates well being, reduced prison rule breaking and helps with recidivism.  Prison visits are shown to reduce depressive symptoms in woman and adolescent prisoners.  

This new policy will negatively effect the mental health of thousand of people.  This change not only compromises the mental health of the inmate but also impacts the children and their family or guardians who will also have to deal with the repercussions this policy has caused. 

Please read below the recent change in policy. Sign and share this petition to keep loved ones as close as they can be. 

Effective 08/28/2019

With the approval of the facility head, children under the age of 18 years may be approved to visit an inmate as outlined below:

a.) Natural or adopted children of an inmate must be accompanied by an inmate's approved visitor.

b.) All other children must be immediate family members of the inmate and must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.  In documentation; such as a birth certificate, to reflect parentage.  

IMMEDIATE FAMILY IS AS FOLLOWS: spouse, natural or surrogate parents, grandparents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, children (to include step children and adopted children) grandchildren, siblings, and aunt or uncle.

This means, if the minor is not the inmate's immediate family member they will no longer be allowed to visit.  No nieces, nephew, cousins, friend's children etc

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!