Oregon became the first state in the nation to pass a law giving children of incarcerated parents a “bill of rights.” According to Street Roots News of Portland, the new policy is intended to minimize the trauma children experience when a parent is in prison.
Advocates hope that by establishing a bill of rights for the children of incarcerated parents, Oregon’s state agencies – human services and the criminal justice and foster care systems, especially – will create policies that reduce trauma experienced by children and allow them to maintain stronger ties with their imprisoned parents.
Read more about the new bill of rights law here.
Last month, Erika Linksey (Program Director of ChIPs Mentoring and Circle of Support) had the chance to sit down and hold a short interview with Beatrice Lozada of Prison Families Anonymous Long Island, New York.
The Prison Families Anonymous is a support group that provides a safe, non-judgmental place where those who have a loved one who is incarcerated can connect with each another. It provides compassion, support and information to these family members.
During the interview, Beatrice shared with us the difficulties she faced throughout her childhood due to her father’s incarceration. She speaks about how she and her siblings maintained a relationship with their father through visits to the prison, letters and phone calls. Beatrice informs us that even after her father’s release from prison, keeping that relationship has been just as challenging.
“He doesn’t talk about his emotions very much,” Beatrice said, “but he did thank me for never giving up on him.”
You can view the short interview, Beatrice Lozada Shares Her Story of Parental Incarceration below. If you have any questions after viewing, please feel free to leave them as a comment on this blog post.