dept justice3 300WASHINGTON, D.C. (6/15/13) – The following appears courtesy of Karol Mason, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs.
 
This week, the beloved children’s television show “Sesame Street” introduced a character named Alex. Like hundreds of thousands of American children, Alex has a parent behind bars, and like them, he faces considerable challenges to his happiness, welfare, and chances of future success. Kids in Alex’s situation – and there are 1.7 million of them in the United States – are unfairly burdened with a social stigma that identifies them by a family member’s crime. Although they have done nothing wrong themselves and may not even understand what has happened, they feel responsible. They are at times anxious or depressed, and the stress of coping with this major disruption in their lives may affect their performance in school or cause them to act out in ways they know they shouldn’t.
 
Dealing with an absent parent is never easy for a child, much less when that parent has been incarcerated for a criminal offense. An innocent young person should not be left to suffer the consequences. Research shows that maintaining contact and healthy relationships in spite of the barriers represented by prison walls is not only possible but beneficial, for both the children and their parents. We owe these children the opportunity to remain connected to their mothers and fathers.
 
Under White House leadership, the Department of Justice is part of an aggressive campaign to provide children of incarcerated parents the support they need. The Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, along with DOJ’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is hosting a webinar on July 9 for faith-based and community leaders on improving our response to children of inmates. Our National Institute of Justice is studying the adoption of video visitation technology to give state and local governments an idea of its cost and potential impact. The Bureau of Justice Statistics will use its Survey of Prison Inmates to measure the number of minor children with an incarcerated parent and the extent their parents are involved in their lives. And our Bureau of Justice Assistance is funding the International Association of Chiefs of Police to bring together federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and child protective services experts to create a model protocol for handling arrests made in the presence of children.
 
The Bureau of Prisons plays a pivotal role, as well, supporting programs to enhance family relationships, improve inmate parenting skills, and redesign visitation policies in its system, while the National Institute of Corrections is developing guidance to help state and local governments enact policy changes aimed at mitigating the impact of a parent’s incarceration. This work complements initiatives undertaken by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reach kids in foster care and public housing. The Federal Interagency Reentry Council, chaired by the Attorney General, has developed a series of Myth Busters to correct misperceptions about parental rights, children’s eligibility for federal benefits, and other issues affecting the children of inmates. The White House is also launching a Children of Incarcerated Parents Web Portal, with information about federal resources, grant opportunities, best practices, and government activities designed to support children of incarcerated parents and their caregivers.
 
Alex may be a fictional character, but the problems he faces are very real. The Department of Justice and its partners in the federal government are committed to helping children of incarcerated parents live happy, productive lives.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by the Department of Justice

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Principal Selection SBDM Meeting - Madisonville North Hopkins

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (6/2/15) — There will be a principal selection meeting for the Madisonville North Hopkins SBDM… Read More

Lady Maroons Claim Second Straight Region Title

MORTONS GAP, Ky. (6/1/15) — Madisonville-North Hopkins won its second straight Second Region title on Saturday, pulling… Read More
1 DOW 18,011.94
-28.43 (-0.16%)    
2 S&P 2,109.60
-2.13 (-0.10%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,076.52
-6.41 (-0.13%)    

Most Read This Week

May 27, 2015 7438

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 30, 2015 7230

Study of Virus Attack on Cancer Sees Success

by Julie Heflin
May 28, 2015 6576

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 4304

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 3916

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - May 27, 2015

by Crime Stoppers

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 11350

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 9501

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

June 01, 2015 1699

Authorities Discover Meth Lab While Assisting…

by SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 1662

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 1450

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1438

Woman Charged with Falsely Reporting Kidnapping

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1413

Two Muhlenberg Women Injured in Collision

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1341

Traffic Signal at Intersection in Downtown…

by Keith Todd
June 02, 2015 1189

Juveniles Accused of Falsely Reporting Masked…

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
June 01, 2015 1134

Human Relations Coordinator Identifies Possible…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 1132

Survivors, Caregivers, Supporters Gather for…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1116

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by SurfKY News