The last three years have brought a dramatic shift in the field for those working with children and families of the incarcerated. The impact of parental incarceration on children has begun to influence federal, state and local policy as well as impacting programs and practices in schools, child welfare agencies and correctional facilities.
NRCCFI participates in many projects that focus on the intersection of policy and practice. Our goal is to examine policy and advocacy initiatives, promising programs and evidence based practices, to solicit feedback from those directly impacted by incarceration-children of the incarcerated, caregivers and incarcerated parents and to promote awareness of national resources and initiatives.
Spotlight: Gail T. Smith Receives IMPACT Award
The Chicago Foundation for Women will award Gail T. Smith, CLAIM’s Founder and Senior Policy Director, a 2012 Impact Award on Thursday, March 15. The awards honor local attorneys and activists who have defended women’s rights in the courtroom, the capitol and beyond. CFW is recognizing Smith for her work to end the shackling of pregnant women, as well as her longtime advocacy for the rights of incarcerated mothers and their children. Smith began CLAIM twenty-six years ago to provide legal services and to advocate for the rights of women with criminal histories. Smith is being honored together with attorneys Kenneth N. Flaxman and Thomas G. Morrissey for The Protect Pregnant Prisoners Campaign, litigation and legislation to end the dangerous practice of shackling incarcerated pregnant women and new mothers. Click here for more info.
For prior FCN spotlights, visit the Spotlight Archives.
The Center for Young Women’s Development in San Francisco is one of the first non-profits in the United States run and led entirely by young women. From the beginning, they have organized the most marginalized young women in San Francisco, those in the street economies and the juvenile justice system, to design and deliver peer-to-peer education and support. FCN sits down with Executive Director Marlene Sanchez to discuss CYWD’s unique approach, some of the keys to its successes, and how her own personal experiences have informed her passion for this work. Read More =>
This section highlights policy initiatives and shares policy perspectives of service providers and family members, as well as policy makers and advocates. Read More =>
Visiting and How to Get There: A Survey of Program Models Offering Transportation for Prison Visiting
By Dee Ann Newell Policy Forum Writer and Eva DeLair Special Projects Coordinator, NRCCFI
“at the time of my incarceration […] the receiving prison was located about 2 hours from my home but there was no direct bus transportation to the prison. Each time my mother attempted to bring my son to prison she had to get a ride and that was not easy, she had to depend on the kindness of others, even when offering to pay their expenses getting to prison was a hassle.” -Anonymous
Strong family ties during imprisonment can have a positive impact on people returning from prison and on their children. Some research suggests that parenting programs in prison reduce recidivism, improving the chances of successful re-entry. People returning home from prison who have access to family support fare better than those who do not on a range of re-entry outcomes. Read More =>
Bill of Rights for Children of the Incarcerated Technical Assistance Project
NRCCFI hosted Soros Fellow, Dee Ann Newell, in a project to provide technical assistance to 14 states pursuing improvement in policies and practices affecting children with incarcerated parents and their families. The National Bill of Rights Project, initiated as a pilot effort for a future and larger policy reform movement needed on behalf of children of incarcerated parents. Read More =>
Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents
NRCCFI has been providing training and technical assistance to Mentoring programs across the US for the last 6 years. This mentoring page will convey to visitors, lessons learned from mentoring agencies across the country. Read more =>