Sunday, February 10, 2008

Remember the Children

What happens to a child when Dad or Mom is incarcerated? Do children get to see their parents? What if the parents are sent out-of-state to serve their time? Who cares for the children? Who pays for the care of the children? And what rights do the children have?

Those were some of the questions that were asked last fall at an overflowing conference in Vermont that focused on the needs of children of incarcerated parents.

This week, I'll be presenting three bills that I've authored, one on my own, and two with Rep. Sandy Haas (P-Rochester). Those bills H.734, H.735, and H.736, together with S.253 from Senators Miller, Condos, and Snelling are being called the "Remember the Children" legislation.

Remember the Children legislation calls upon key governmental agencies to focus on the needs of children when parents are arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned. One of the bills calls for a Children's Bill of Rights. The goal is to spark a discussion and find solutions that address the needs of these unintended victims of crime.

Click here for a news article that today discussed this important issue.

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At February 11, 2008 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a crucial topic in our community right now. There are an estimated 3,000 children in the state of Vermont with an incarcerated parent.

Mobius, The Mentoring Movement is working to recruit 99 mentors across VT to mentor these children, who absolutely could benefit from the support of a consistent and caring adult in their lives. Mobius is hosting a workshop on the topic this Wednesday, Feb 13th from 7-8:30 PM at Burlington High School. Visit our website at or call 658-1888 for details. Please spread the word- we hope to see lots of faces on Wednesday!

At February 11, 2008 12:14 PM, Blogger Gail C said...

As a Educational Surrogate, I run into this problem more times than we as a community would care to admit. That old expression "You do the crime, the family does the time" only covers a tiny fraction of it. Children feel abandoned, cheated and scared. When your safe people disappear, most times in the middle of the night, it's hard to trust.
Let me know if there is anything I can do.

At July 02, 2008 11:41 PM, Blogger Jason P. Lorber said...

The key provisions of this bill passed into law (it was folded into the Justice Reinvestment bill, H.859).

Moving forward, the Corrections Oversight Committee -- on which I sit -- is slated to delve further into issues affecting children of incarcerated parents at our August 26 meeting.


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