Children of Incarcerated Parents

The Children of Incarcerated Parents blog is the first national blog dedicated to exploring the impact of parental incarceration on children and families. There are an estimated two million minor children in the United States who have an incarcerated parent. The incarceration of parents not only has a devastating and damaging impact on children, but it also affects their caregivers and the well-being and integrity of their families. Find out more.

JS Blog Post January 3, 2019

Darina Interview: Stories told by Children of Incarcerated Parents

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Two years ago, Patricia Allard and I wrote a Huffington Post blog highlighting a video of 8-year-old Darina’s wish for her father’s transfer from a federal prison in Texas to one in Oregon. It seemed like it would take a miracle, but with the help of her community he was transferred last year. Darina still can’t even think of the ultimate miracle— having her dad come home. 

This year I had the opportunity to chat with Darina, now 10-years-old about her thoughts on her dad’s incarceration, her most recent visit, and some advice for young people in her situation. You can listen to the interview here.

JS Blog Post December 21, 2018

The First Step Act Passes: An Incremental Change That May Do More Harm Than Good

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Today is a celebration—for some—as President Trump signed into law the First Step Act. For some, the law will create what the New York Times calls "the most significant changes to the criminal justice system in a generation.” It is a beautiful example of the advocacy and leadership of formerly incarcerated people and their families. However, for many of us we see that this law may have devastating effects due to its shortcomings that bolster technology and privatization and that will ultimately perpetuate structural inequality. All of course which will fall heavily on those most impacted by the criminal justice system: Black people, Latinx people, indigenous people, women, children, immigrants, and transgender and gender nonconforming people.

JS Blog Post December 21, 2018

Video Released #SurvivorsSpeak Out on Criminal Justice Policy Change in Florida

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Today, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice released a video from their Survivor’s Speak Florida 2018. Hundreds of survivors of violent crime gathered together in Tallahassee, FL at the state capitol to advocate for increased investments in trauma recovery, prevention and rehabilitation over more prisons and jails. Read more »

JS Blog Post December 5, 2018

Marshall Project Sheds Light on “How incarcerated parents are losing their children forever.”

Riley Hewko, Esq.

The Marshall Project released an article on December 2, 2018 titled “How Incarcerated Parents Are Losing Their Children Forever.” The article leads with a hidden fact about our “child protective services” when it comes to incarcerated parents: Read more »

JS Blog Post November 23, 2018

Save your Black Friday Spending to Instead Support Children of Incarcerated Parents for #Giving Tuesday

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Every year, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving #GivingTuesday provides individuals an alternative to spending their money on “Black Friday.” This year consider staying away from companies that support the prison industry and instead donate to organizations helping children of incarcerated parents. The U.S has approximately 7 million people in prison, jail, probation or parole, 100,000 in juvenile detention, 478,000 in immigration detention.

JS Blog Post November 12, 2018

Veterans Day Focus: Incarcerated Veteran Parents

Riley Hewko, Esq.

On this Veteran’s Day 2018, as we honor our military veterans, it seemed appropriate to look at resources for incarcerated veterans who may have left children behind as they serve their sentences. Given the criminalization of living with addiction, mental health, and disabilities, former members of the US military often find themselves in trouble with the law. A study by RAND institute found that almost a third of people who survived combat in wars since 9/11 suffer from “invisible wounds,” such as a mental health condition or traumatic brain injury (TBI). This concern has led to the development of veteran’s courts, with the one criticism being that they are misapplied justice, as all people entering the justice system should receive similar support. A second criticism is that they are not provided to veterans who have committed violent or sexual assault crimes.

JS Blog Post October 29, 2018

Oregon State Continues to Lead in Supporting Children of Incarcerated Parents

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Oregon continues to lead in providing support for children of incarcerated parents. A recent training “Incarcerated Parents: Don’t Forget About Me” given earlier this month by Oregon Department of Corrections’ (DOC) Administrator of Programs & Social Support Services and the Department of Human Services (DHS) reflects a tone of changing attitudes often possessed by child welfare and prison staff. Specifically, the second and third slides of the presentation with their beliefs include: Read more »

JS Blog Post October 27, 2018

The Family First Prevention Services Act Offers Support for Children of Incarcerated Parents

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Last spring, groundbreaking legislation, The Family First Prevention Services Act (“FFPSA”), was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act allowing states to use federal funding to help keep families together and avoid out of home foster care placement entirely. Specifically, the legislation changes the way that Title IV-E funds can be spent by states by allowing funds to be used for prevention services that help keep kids at home or with their relatives. Prevention services include for example, mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services, in-home skill-based parenting programs, foster care maintenance payments for children with parents in residential family-based substance abuse treatment facilities, and payments for kinship navigator programs.

Monthly Feature

Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People's Movement Western Regional Conference

Convened by All of Us or None & Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

Sunday, September 20th & Monday, September 21st

Formerly incarcerated and convicted people, family members, community and spiritual leaders, elected officials and government employees will all come together to strengthen our relationships and work towards making change through community empowerment. We invite you to Voice your opinion, learn your rights and learn what changes we can make together. All of Us or None Contact: (415)-255-7036 ext. 337 www.prisonerswithchildren.org

FREE REGISTRATION: eventbrite.com