The plan outlines promising practices and 70-plus recommendations for improving outcomes for the more than 1.7 million children of incarcerated parents. The publication reflects the work of an advisory board of criminal justice and child welfare experts, representatives of community-based organizations, and a bipartisan group of state and local government officials.
Among the federal action plan's recommendations are those that urge policymakers to
* create federal interagency task forces and develop cross-system collaborations that address the risk factors of children of incarcerated parents and better link them to services;
* support new policies and practices in the criminal justice system that address trauma associated with a parent's arrest and their incarceration, which is often many miles from where a child is living;
* encourage measures that facilitate visitation when in the best interests of the child and promote permanence that takes into account siblings and other important relationships;
* address federal and state measures that make it more difficult for caregivers to obtain benefits and support for these children.
This and other research focusing on alternatives to mass incarceration and women and their children can be found at www.realcostofprisons.org