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Protect Children of Incarcerated Parents

This petition had 347 supporters

Leading Youth to be "College Bound"

-1 in 43 American children has a parent in prison.*

 -In 2007, about half (52%) of all incarcerated men & women were parents.*

- 22% of all minor children with a parent in prison are under the age of 5 years old.*

Silent Victims of Crime are the 1.7 million children of incarcerated parents (who were the primary caregivers prior to arrest).  These children are routinely overlooked and displaced to potentially unsafe environments following the arrest of a caregiver.  Lack of intervention on behalf of these children may be a contributing factor towards unhealthy, unstable, and reduced levels of overall well-being of these youth and their future choices and experiences.

We need your support so a law is passed to protect these children. 

According to The Second Chance Act, Public Law 110-199, when addressing the needs of children of incarcerated parents it is important to have "maintenance of the parent-child bond during incarceration, having parental self-improvement, as well as having parental involvement in planning for the future and well-being of their children” (Second Chance Act, P.L. 110-199, pg. 35, sec. 243).  Currently there are limited resources fostering these.

We have created a petition that addresses the needs of children of incarcerated parents.  This petition can change the lives of these children.

Our proposal is to question the caregiver at time of intake. If they acknowledge that they have children, they are offered the opportunity to obtain the assistance of a "Family Advocate".  A "Family Advocate's" sole role is the welfare and safety of the children, which is similar to a "Guardian ad Litem". The "Family Advocate" can interact with the caregiver on behalf of the children, while maintaining the parental involvement throughout the process. 

The hope is that a more supportive system will mediate the repercussions of having an “unavailable” parent. 

Our interest is to ensure that the children are raised in a stable environment where education and well-being are encouraged. 

Leading Youth to be "College Bound."


*The Sentencing Project. Research & Advocacy for Reform. February 2009




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