Showing posts with label Families. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Families. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Children of prisoners

The Irish Penal Reform Trust, "an independent nongovernmental organisation campaigning for the rights of everyone in the penal system, with prison as a last resort," has just released "Picking up the Pieces": The Rights and Needs of Children and Families Affected by Imprisonment.  It describes the effect of imprisonment on those who "must endure their own sentence, despite not having perpetrated any crime."  Some of the problems discussed are: the impact of separation, barriers to visitation and maintaining the parent-child relationship, stigmatization, mental health issues, and difficulties in reunification.  While the report's recommendations are not applicable to all countries, since it was written in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the impact of a parent's imprisonment is universal.  Among the more standard suggestions for reform is one that recommends:

The best interests of the child should be a key consideration in proceedings where a parent may be remanded or sentenced to custody.

The report also suggests that impact statements from children of parents about to be sentenced "would be one practical approach which would permit the voice of the child to be heard."

Interesting reading!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Predatory Phone Pricing

Peter Wagner shares "a big victory ... in the movement to end predatory pricing of prison telephone services."  See the details in Movement Victory: FCC Proposes To Regulate Prison Telephone Industry.  Congratulations to those working on this issue!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Children of the Incarcerated

The Sentencing Project has just released a new report entitled Video Visits for Children Whose Parents Are Incarcerated: In Whose Best Interest?  Written by research analyst Susan D. Phillips, the report looks at those situations in which video visits would be a positive addition to visitation procedures, especially in light of the fact that a majority of parent-prisoners are incarcerated more than 100 miles from their children.  However, she also looks at those instances when such visits would undermine personal relationships and concludes that "Children may benefit from video visitation if it increases opportunities for them to communicate with their parents [b]ut video visitation is not a substitute for in-person contact visits, particularly for infants and young children." Some of the technical and practical aspects of video visitation are also discussed.  Another, more technical report on video visitation from the Vermont Legislative Research Service was released in May 2011.  Prison Video Conferencing, prepared for Vermont Representative Peg Andrews, also discusses the use of this technology in a number of other states.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Charges for Prison Phone Calls

News from Peter Wagner, Executive Director, Prison Policy Initiative:

The New York Times cited Prison Policy Initiative's new report, "The Price To Call Home: State-Sanctioned Monopolization in the Prison Phone Industry," in a September 23d editorial, noting that many telephone companies "charge inmates spectacularly high rates that can force their families to choose between keeping in touch with a relative behind bars and, in some cases, putting food on the table." It called on the FCC to regulate the prison telephone industry. The report was also cited in a letter from Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Rep. Bobby L. Rush to the FCC requesting action on the high costs of phone calls between incarcerated individuals and their families.

corporate accountability public interest group, Sum Of Us, has also created a page for submitting comments to the FCC, which is currently accepting comments on new regulations that would limit what phone companies could charge inmates' families for calls.