Take Action to Support Children of Incarcerated Parents

Osborne Association YAC youth PSA on Visiting

Learn more about the Proximity and Visiting Bus Bills, here.

Urge New York Governor Cuomo to Sign the Proximity Bill into Law

We are thrilled that the New York State legislature passed the Proximity bill in July 2020, but we are not across the finish line yet! While we wait for the bill to be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk in the coming weeks, we must let him know that tens of thousands of children in New York are counting on him to sign this bill into law and bring their incarcerated parents closer to home. Please take two steps today to urge the Governor to sign the Proximity Bill (A6710A/S724A) into law: 

Click here to tell Governor Cuomo that signing this bill is important to children and families

Tweet Governor Cuomo:

@NYGovCuomo please support children of incarcerated parents & sign Proximity Bill A6710A. Visits are a lifeline for many children, but now visiting is hard b/c parents are in prisons far away. Signing #ProximityNow would ensure parents are closer to home. #SeeUsSupportUs

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:

  • Join us in signing the Connect Families Now petition urging state and local officials to make phone calls free now, and forever. Please spread the word!!! 

  • 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.

  • Call your New York State Senator and Assemblymember and ask your representatives to support this bill. Look up your representative here. ​

    • Script: ​“Tens of thousands of children want and need to see their incarcerated parents in person. I am concerned that visiting will be replaced with video conferencing after the pandemic has subsided. Please protect in-person visiting and co-sponsor bill S2698/A2483 today."

  • Sign the We Got Us Now Petition: To show your support for New York State Bills that would place incarcerated parents in the State prison closest to their children, restore the Family Visiting Buses, and protect the right to in-person visits, here.

Releasing and Safeguarding Incarcerated Parents

 Protect Visiting in New York State  

NYCIP calls on New York to immediately pass Bill S2698/A2483 that would amend state law to require that state and local correctional facilities provide in-person visits. We are concerned that as more facilities implement and rely on video conferencing while visits are suspended, they may not fully reinstate in-person visits 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.

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 

#FreeThemNow

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.

#CuomoLetThemGo!

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.

National Campaigns 

#ProtectOurParents

We Got Us Now calls for immediate clemency, free communications, notification system, & safe and sanitary measures.

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Thank you to Echoes of Incarceration, Jacobia Dahm, and Salvador Espinoza for their photos.