Take Action to Support Children of Incarcerated Parents
Youth Action Council Calls on New York State to pass bills that would make visiting more accessible.
Protect In-Person Visiting in New York State
The New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents calls on New York to immediately pass Bill S2841A/A4250A that would amend state law to require state prisons and county jails to provide in-person visits. We are concerned that as more facilities implement and rely on video conferencing while visits are suspended due to Covid-19 that in-person visits will not be fully reinstated after the pandemic has subsided. Video conferencing, phone calls, and emails are all important, but nothing can or should replace visiting a loved one in person. It is critical to pass this bill now.
Free Phone Calls and Emails
One-third of our nation’s families with incarcerated loved ones go into debt trying to stay connected. This is further exacerbated as more people are out of work due to COVID-19 and many families are unable to pay for phone, email, and video conferencing at the very time that family connection is most needed.
What you can do:
If you have a loved one inside a New York prison or jail, please share your story about the importance of staying connected and how important it is that New York make communication free. Learn more here.
Consider writing a letter to your local Sheriff and State Department of Corrections asking for free phone calls, emails, and video conferencing while visits are suspended. Feel free to use NYCIP’s letter to the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision as a template.
VICTORY! Proximity Signed Into Law
We are thrilled that the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Proximity bill A6710A/S724A into law on December 23, 2021. This law requires the New York State DOCCS to place incarcerated parents at facilities of their designated security level which meet their programming needs that are closest to their minor children. DOCCS must implement the law by December 23, 2021. We encourage families to let their incarcerated loved ones know about this law so that the incarcerated parent can ask the facility how to apply to be moved closer to their children. To learn more, contact email@example.com
Our work to decarcerate is now a matter of life and death as COVID-19 endangers the lives of everyone who lives and works in correctional facilities. Join us in amplifying and engaging in campaigns calling for the immediate release of those who pose little to no risk to public safety—especially vulnerable people susceptible to COVID-19 complications—and implementation of safety measures in all facilities per CDC recommendations.
New York Campaigns
Just Leadership USA and the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice are leading efforts to release people from New York prisons and New York City Jails who are incarcerated on technical parole violations and those who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
Grassroots campaign led by the Release Aging People in Prison, Parole Preparation Project, and others asking for Governor Andrew Cuomo to immediately release people from New York State Prisons who are vulnerable to COVID-19.