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.
When Cassidy Green learned that she was pregnant, she and her husband didn’t discuss cribs, co-sleeping, or even diapers. Instead, they worried about more basic and immediate challenges, like whether Green would be able to spend more than a few days with her baby. Green was in prison, 9 years into a 15-year prison sentence [...]Read More
“Prison Within Prison: Voices of Women Held In Isolated Confinement in New York” is a collection of oral and visual observations from twenty women about their experiences being held in isolated confinement in New York’s women’s prisons and Rikers Island. They are advocates and leaders on a range of issues in the movement to end [...]Read More
WOMEN AND ISOLATED CONFINEMENT Women held in isolated confinement are subjected to dehumanizing treatment—treatment that makes it difficult for them to maintain their dignity, hygiene, nutrition and personal property. They can get in trouble for something as simple as attempting to talk to the person next to them. They are denied commissary privileges which provide [...]Read More