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Call to Action: Safeguarding New York's Children of Incarcerated Parents

NCJ Number
Tanya Krupat; Elizabeth Gaynes; Yali Lincroft
Date Published
May 2011
88 pages
This report builds on the planning process that led to the 1-day Summit entitled "A Call to Action," held on November 15, 2010, in order to draw attention to the needs of New York's children whose parents are in the criminal justice system and develop recommendations for how the systems that impact their lives can minimize trauma and harm and support their resiliency and positive development.
The first section of the report presents an overview of what is currently known and not known about children of incarcerated parents. Although the focus is on New York State, national data are used in the absence of sufficient local and State data and research. The second section portrays the criminal justice system from a child's perspective and recommends ways to minimize the impact on children of a parent's arrest, court procedures and sentencing, incarceration, and community supervision. The third section describes the activities and services of systems that serve children, their parents, and caregivers; and recommendations are offered for improving services to children of incarcerated parents. Attention is given to caregiver support and family stability, education, mental and physical health, and child welfare. The fourth and concluding section presents information on and recommendations for services to children of incarcerated parents, including how to coordinate, implement, and ensure accountability for instituting the recommendations. This report is intended to be used as a guide for structuring and delivering services to the children and families of incarcerated individuals, as well as a baseline measure for future progress. Appended list of partners in the New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents, a bill of rights for children of incarcerated parents, guiding principles to support children of incarcerated parents, and the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police arrest protocol