Video Release: The ASFA Expanded Discretion Law and the Rights of Incarcerated Parents
The 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.
The United States has 5% of the world’s women, and 33% of its incarcerated women. Women’s imprisonment rose 700% nationally between 1980 and 2014, and women of color are disproportionately arrested and incarcerated. In response to this dramatic increase, the National Institute of Corrections and the National Resource Center on Justice-Involved Women worked to develop effective practices for women’s prisons through a Gender Informed Practice Assessment tool, known as GIPA.Read More
N.C. Prisons End Shackling of Women During Childbirth, A ‘Barbaric’ Practice 32 Other States Still Allow
“People’s human rights do not end when they enter the walls of a prison.” Ending a practice described by medical experts as “barbaric,” the director of North Carolina’s state prisons said Wednesday that women who give birth while they are incarcerated will no longer be restrained or shackled during labor. Women’s rights advocates applauded the [...]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