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Family Ties Program

The New York Initiative for Children with Incarcerated Parents advocates for the rights of children of incarcerated parents as outlined in the Children’s Bill of Rights. These rights include children’s right to: maintain and have a lifelong relationship with their parents; not be judged by their parent’s actions; and be heard, respected and kept safe. Research shows that the majority of NYC agencies that come into contact with children during a parent’s involvement with the criminal justice system have few if any policies, procedures or training that identify or guide their interactions with children. This Bill of Rights offers organizing principles and a framework for reform in New York, where numerous policies, systems practices, and public attitudes must change in order to meet the needs of children. Among the reforms that are critical to the wellbeing of children with parents in prison are the following: • Arrest practices that support and protect children. • Pre-sentence investigations and sentencing and parole policies and practices that consider the impact on children and families. • Prison and jail visitation policies that are family-friendly and child-centered. • Training of staff at all public institutions that serve or affect children, so that policies and practices recognize and address the needs and concerns of children. • Access to specially trained therapists and counselors for children. • Opportunities for youth to communicate with and support other children whose parents are incarcerated. • Policies, practices and services across all systems that strengthen families pre- and post-release.

Program Population

Women with children that have been or currently are incarcerated, children with incarcerated parents.

Program Funding Source

Foundations and grants

Start Date Year
Curriculum Published

The Osborne Association
175 Remsen Street
Suite 800
Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States