Protecting the Rights of Incarcerated Parents and Their Children
The Women in Prison Project has made an important advance in its efforts to lessen the harsh effects of New York’s Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) on incarcerated parents. ASFA almost always requires foster care agencies to file a termination of parental rights proceeding if a child has been in foster care for 15 of the last 22 months. These shortened timeframes, and the unavoidable difficulties incarcerated parents face in meeting legal requirements to maintain contact with and plan for their children, place them at disproportionate risk of losing parental rights to their children forever. Working with members of the Coalition for Women Prisoners’ Incarcerated Mothers Committee, WIPP helped draft new legislation that would expand foster care agencies’ discretion to delay filing termination papers in cases where a parent is incarcerated or in a residential substance abuse treatment program, even after the 15 month deadline has been reached. Having more time would give incarcerated parents and their children a better opportunity to work toward reunification and safe permanency options that do not involve severing family bonds forever. The bill, A.8465-A, was introduced by Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry, Chair of the Corrections Committee.
CA Applauds Commitment to Raise the Age in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address, Laments No Mention of Racism, Violence, and Abuse in NYS Prisons
(January 9, 2016) New York, NY: The Correctional Association of New York roundly applauds the continued commitment of Governor Andrew Cuomo to raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York, ending the prosecution and incarceration of 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. It is now up to the members of both parties in the NYS Legislature to do their duty to make this a reality. In spite of the Governor’s assertion that the "nation looks to NY to find a way up," we actually fall behind 48 other states, along with North Carolina, by continuing to treat children as adults in the criminal legal system. New York must Raise the Age of criminal responsibility this legislative session. Read More
To the Editor: Re “Serving as a Role Model During a Father’s Absence” (The Neediest Cases, Dec. 21): It’s nice to see young Jaylen benefit from the MentorCHIP program. But children whose parents are incarcerated need regular visits with their parents. Studies show that children’s emotional, scholastic and social adjustment improve when they have regularly [...]Read More
Under unique statutory authority granted to the CA in 1846, WIPP monitors conditions in women’s prisons in New York, a role played by no other group in the country. WIPP coordinates the Coalition for Women Prisoners, a statewide alliance of more than 1,800 people, and carries out advocacy campaigns to reform harmful criminal justice policies. [...]Read More
Watch the Correctional Association’s video about the barbaric – and illegal – shackling of incarcerated women during childbirth. In 2009 New York enacted a statute restricting the use of shackles on women during childbirth. The law bans outright the use of restraints on women throughout labor, delivery and recovery “after giving birth,” which is meant [...]Read More