Letter to the Editor: Alleviating the Pain When a Parent Is in Jail
From The New York Times:
To the Editor:
Re “Serving as a Role Model During a Father’s Absence” (The Neediest Cases, Dec. 21):
It’s nice to see young Jaylen benefit from the MentorCHIP program. But children whose parents are incarcerated need regular visits with their parents. Studies show that children’s emotional, scholastic and social adjustment improve when they have regularly scheduled visits to alleviate the pain of losing a parent.
Parents are placed in facilities so far from their children as to make visits expensive and difficult. Moreover, parents’ parole success is enhanced by visits, benefiting their children and the community, and we are missing that opportunity.
Even better, the state could work with community organizations to reduce incarceration in the first place. Affordable housing, employment, medical and mental health care, and violence prevention programs could reduce parental incarceration, which has been recognized as an adverse childhood experience that traumatizes and stigmatizes children.
Alternative sentencing could prevent the severe harms children and families suffer when a parent is incarcerated, and could better address the root cause of the offense. We would all do better to support children like Jaylen and challenge the cycle of incarceration if we promoted these policy changes.
GAIL T. SMITH
Director, Women in Prison Project
Correctional Association of New York
Correctional Association of New York releases “Solitary at Southport: A 2017 Report Based Upon the Correctional Assn.’s Visits, Data Analysis, & First-Hand Accounts of the Torture of Solitary Confinement from One of New York’s Supermax Prisons”
New York, NY (December 13, 2017): Today The Correctional Assn. of NY (CA), founded in 1844 and one of the oldest prison watchdog organizations in the country, released a 92-page report providing graphic first-hand depictions of physical, mental, and emotional abuse as a result of days, weeks, and often years of being caged in solitary confinement for 23 to 24 hours a day.Read More
Southport Correctional Facility is one of two super-maximum security prisons in the state that places an emphasis on solitary confinement. A new report looking at the facility’s practices is highlighting the negative impact solitary confinement can have on a human. So advocates are making a renewed push for the HALT Act. Joining us to talk [...]Read More
Reports & Research
“Solitary at Southport: A 2017 Report Based Upon the Correctional Association’s Visits, Data Analysis, & First-Hand Accounts of the Torture of Solitary Confinement from One of New York’s Supermax Prisons”
“The isolation itself is torture. Mentally and emotionally, it breaks you down. Spiritually it strips you. The way it is built is to break you down as a person and push your family away.” From “Solitary at Southport” Solitary confinement is torture. New York State subjects people to solitary confinement and other forms of isolation [...]Read More
Prison Monitoring Reports
Attica Correctional Facility, a 2,000-bed maximum security prison in western New York, continues to operate as a symbolic and real epicenter of state violence and abuse of incarcerated persons in the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) state prison system 43 years after the 1971 prison uprising and violent suppression by state authorities. The [...]Read More