CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS: A BILL OF RIGHTS

September, 2003
San Francisco Partnership for Incarcerated Parents
Supported by The Zellerbach Family Foundation
San Francisco Partnership for Incarcerated Parents (SFPIP) is a coalition of social
service providers, representatives of government bodies, advocates and others
who work with or are concerned about children of incarcerated parents and their
families. Formed in 2000 under the auspices of the Zellerbach Family Foundation,
SFPIP works to improve the lives of children of incarcerated parents and to
increase awareness of these children, their needs and their strengths.
After studying the issues affecting these children and their families in San Francisco,
SFPIP members agreed that a children’s perspective was the logical framework
from which all future work should evolve. We understand that children’s rights
and needs sometimes conflict with what people in authority, or even incarcerated
parents, believe is safe or appropriate, but it seems to us essential to start from the
child’s perspective and work on what’s possible from there. The bill of rights that
follows is an effort to codify that perspective. It is derived from the experience of
Gretchen Newby, Executive Director of Friends Outside—who drafted the original
bill of rights on which the following is based—in working with prisoners and their
families, and from interviews conducted by journalist Nell Bernstein with over 30
young people who have experienced parental incarceration (names of interviewees
have been changed). It also relies on the research and conclusions of Charlene
Simmons of the California Research Bureau and Peter Breen of the Child Welfare
League of America, and derives in great part from the ongoing conversation that
has been taking place among SFPIP members under the guidance of Ellen Walker
of the Zellerbach Family Foundation.
Rights conceived by Gretchen Newby, Friends Outside. Text by Nell Bernstein.
Photographs by Joseph Rodriguez/Black Star. Art by Zoe Wilmott.

billofrights

This entry was posted in Prison and Jails, Re-entry, The Journey, The Problem. Bookmark the permalink.

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