Video Release: The ASFA Expanded Discretion Law and the Rights of Incarcerated Parents

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ASFA photoThe Coalition for Women Prisoners (CWP) and the Women in Prison Project (WIPP) work in partnership to facilitate and support the implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act Expanded Discretion law (ASFA), which provides an opportunity for parents who were incarcerated or in residential treatment to regain custody of their children from foster care beyond the normal 15-month timeframe. We won passage of this legislation in 2010, but many foster care agencies and courts are not using its provisions to promote reproductive justice for marginalized communities.

Our most recent efforts, in partnership with Echoes of Incarceration, have resulted in a series of videos created to educate the various stakeholders about the law. The videos, in which formerly incarcerated and other stakeholders prominently appear, provide clear and  compelling explanations of the law and how it should be used.  The videos will be distributed in correctional centers, legal aid offices, Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and private child welfare agencies, law schools, schools of social work, and  courts.

To learn about the obstacles to reunification incarcerated parents in New York and other states face, check out this illuminating article by Vikki Law in Truthout.