Voices of Children of the Incarcerated: Legislative Testimony SB 5291

Hello my name is D.G. I am 10 yars old, I am a child experiencing a father in prison. My dad won't be able to expeience me growing up. There are times when I get really sad and want to call him but I can't. I've only got to see him 2 time in the last 4 years. thats because he's so far away. There are times when Ihave special events (for example: my first kick boxing match) when I won and I was sooo happy and at the same time I felt a little sad. I spent most my life without my dad. But also I spent most of my life with a sstep dad. Special holidays are hard for me (for example: Christmas, fathers day, my birth-day) because he's not there. When my Dad calls me at my aunt's house I get super excited. [And I want to say for the other kids out there your not alone iether its your dad mom or other family members or other people that you care about theres other people going thrue this. Even tho my dad cant come home early I woul dhope that other kids parents could come home faster there would be lots of benifit for each child. Please support this bill. Thank you

The above testimony was written by D.G. in her preperation to speak in front of the Washington State Legislature about her experience as a child of an incarcerared father. The legislature is considering the expansion of the Washington State parenting alternative sentencing program under SB 5291. Washington's program includes both diversion from prison entirely, as well as an an early release program allowing parents to release up to twelve months early with the primary goal of reunifying their family. 

As discussed in our last blog post, the bill expands eligibility beyond primary custody and beyond nonviolent offenses allowing allowing more parents to participate. It also allows more immigrant parents to participate. Further, the bill serves to undo myths around parents with violent crimes, who are often seen as undeserving of reform, and to prioritize noncustodial parents who play key roles in their children's lives.

D.G.'s actual testimony given that day can be listened to here. Voices like hers make a lasting impact on legislators and help create the change we need; change that often numbers and statistics cannot inspire us to make.

D.G. is Children of Incarcerated Parents Youth Advocate, Future MMA Fighter, and Future Veterinarian.



D.G. and Patricia Allard


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