The Correctional Association of New York Firmly Opposes Efforts to Restrict Family Visits to People Incarcerated in New York State Prisons

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Annette Warren-Dickerson 646-793-9077

adickerson@correctionalassociation.org

The Correctional Association of New York Firmly Opposes Efforts to Restrict Family Visits to People Incarcerated in New York State Prisons

Stresses the importance of strengthening and maintaining family ties for successful re-entry, fostering healthy relationships for children of incarcerated parents

(February 19, 2017, New York): The Correctional Association of New York (CA)  firmly opposes a recent proposal in Governor Cuomo’s budget to restrict the number of days on which those incarcerated at maximum security prisons in New York can receive family visits.   It is indisputable that strengthening and maintaining family ties are key factors in achieving successful re-entry, reducing recidivism, engendering healthy relationships between incarcerated parents and their children, and positively affecting overall public safety.  Often the frequency of these visits is a necessary factor in maintaining parental rights. They also help to keep those inside connected to their home communities, which play critically positive roles in re-entry and re-engagement upon release.

Promoting and encouraging visiting also recognizes the humanity of the individuals inside, assisting them to view themselves as more than an incarcerated person, but rather a father, mother, sibling, spouse, partner – an important member of a family. This engagement also facilities a focus on developing skills and goals for what will come after incarceration, promoting positive activities and interactions while they await the day when they will go home.

It is more important than ever that our elected officials commit themselves to removing — not creating — impediments to keeping families together under challenging circumstances.  Any imagined fiscal benefit to cutting the number of visiting days evaporates in the face of the expense of re-incarcerating those who return to prison because of a lack of family ties and community support and access.

The CA strongly urges the Governor and NYS lawmakers to maintain and expand visiting and programs the strengthen family and community ties, and reject any policies, proposals and legislation that seek to create larger consequences not only for those who are incarcerated, but their children and other loved ones.

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