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 series, which has earned praise for its evenhandedness and authenticity, takes viewers through a dramatic retelling of the two men’s elaborate plot, the escape, and the ensuing manhunt. But it ignores one of the most serious consequences of the break: the widespread retaliation carried out against the people left behind in Clinton and other New York prisons.Read More
Staten Islanders had the opportunity Thursday night to briefly experience one of the hardest parts of our nation’s penal system. A group of advocates brought a makeshift solitary cell to the South Shore YMCA in Eltingville to show people the level of isolation inmates can face. The model was constructed by Doug Van Zandt, of [...]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