CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Boudin on Children of Incarcerated Parents

Chesa Boudin has posted Children of Incarcerated Parents: The Child’s Constitutional Right to the Family Relationship (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This Article describes the vast population of children with incarcerated parents. The central argument reframes sentencing law and prison visitation policy through the lens of children’s rights, rather than the traditional frame of prisoners’ rights. It then suggests as a possible legal basis for children's right to a relationship with their convicted parents the First Amendment freedom of association and a due process liberty interest. The argument is developed through comparative analysis of current sentencing law and visitation policy in New York State and the federal system, as well as First Amendment doctrinal analysis. International law and practice illustrate that the status quo in the United States need not be the only approach.

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What does he propose we change? Children shouldn't be penalized for their parents' mistakes, but neither should their parents get off easier because they have children.

Posted by: JT | Nov 30, 2010 6:46:17 PM

Shirley Wilson


Maria Palmer

Welcome You to Heart to Heart:

The United States incarcerates more people than any other nation on the planet. It is understood that many believe that it is great to be number one in many things, but as American citizens, this is something that none should be proud of. In the last 25 years, America's prison population has quadrupled. Now incarcerated persons, especially females with nonviolent petty crimes, are the largest growing population in our nation.

So who does this affect? It affects all of us, not just those behind the bars. It affects our tax dollars, our communities and most importantly our children. For the past 6 years, Maria Palmer has been intricately involved with Get On The Bus, an organization that brings children to see their incarcerated parents once a year for Mother's/Father's Day. Whenever the staff of Get On The Bus would go out to different communities to talk about the program, many people were visibly moved. One comment that readily stood out was that people never thought about what happened to the children when their parents went to prison. The children are the voiceless and faceless victims of crime and it is time to start talking about them.

This is what Heart to Heart aims to do. Shirley and Maria will be bringing the good news, people and programs that are impacting children who have a parent in prison. Once a month the show will be shedding light onto a topic that many others won't touch. America must be reminded that children are the future. Research also shows that children with incarcerated parents who have a relationship with that parent are better socially and emotionally adjusted and they are less likely to repeat the patterns of inter-generational incarceration. Please join Shirley & Maria one Sunday a month to talk about these issues. Your feedback and comments are welcomed.

What's on the Sunday February 13th, 2011 Show?

Shirley and Maria will chat with the star lined cast of Poetic Justice. You'll love this show. Everyone else does. Here's what some have said about the show;

“Great talent–great message. You need to find a way to reach larger audiences.”
“The world needs more of these real people to spread a powerful message.”
“Will tell as many people as possible. Excellent!!”
“EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! I loved every moment–especially the Q&A.”
“I caught so many glimpses of how scary prison can be and not in the way you see on TV.”
“We are so glad you came!”
“Great singing!”
“They kept it real–can’t do any better than that!”
“It was as close to perfect as I’ve seen.”
“I’m going to recommend this play and this project to everyone on Facebook!”
“They completely flipped the script!”
“Great job by all! I would love to see more from this group.”
“This show put a human face on prisoners.”

Deborah Tobola's bio

Deborah Tobola, founding Artistic Director of the Poetic Justice Project, worked for more than 12 years teaching poetry and collaborative playwriting, as well as managing an Arts in Corrections program in California prisons. Her students won writing awards, published their work in journals and magazines and appeared on local television and national radio. Author ofOff The Hook, Deborah produced six original plays at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo before leaving to begin the Poetic Justice Project. A widely published poet and children’s book author, her work has earned four Pushcart Prize nominations and three Academy of American Poets awards.

Guillermo Willie's bio:
I spent over half of my life in prison and have been "out here" for about two years now. I find the world to be a very beautiful place and have learned to not take even the seemingly simple things for granted. I learned that in prison. Prison was a very eye-opening experience for me and I actually began to become free while in there. I became involved with various aspects of prison life, some that were very positive and some that were very negative. Fortunately, I learned from all of it and now find myself "out here," still doing my darndest to be the best human being that I might possibly be. Being a good human being is an art. It is art. And I want to be the best possible artist that I can be . . .

Bull Chaney's bio:

For 25 years, Bull Chaney was either incarcerated or on parole. It was in prison that he had a vision of how to help people like himself, convicts addicted to drugs. He left prison in 1996 with a vision that became the Gryphon Society, the nonprofit that Bull operates with his wife, Marie and partners Becky Brown and Jimmy Desatoff. They opened their first sober living home in 2000 and now Gryphon Society has nine sober living homes on California’s Central Coast. Based on 12-step recovery and community service, Gryphon Society helps men and women coming out of jail or prison, reintegrate into their communities. Bull Chaney plays Running Bull in Off The Hook and serves on Poetic Justice Project’s Advisory Board, as well as the San Luis Obispo County Homeless Coalition. In 2009, he was appointed by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors to the Homeless Services Oversight Council.

Jorge Manly Gil's bio

Jorge Manly Gil has 20 years of experience in the social service field, for both non-profit agencies and not-for-profit communities and organizations such as Catholic Worker, the San Diego American Indian Health Center; Bienestar of San Diego; Catholic Charities of San Diego; St. Camilus Pastoral Center of Los Angeles; Union of Pan-Asian Communities of San Diego, and University of California San Diego-HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center. He has worked as a case manager, health educator and community outreach worker. He’s also served as a chaplain at L.A. County Hospital and co-founded two Catholic Worker communities, one in San Diego and another one in Jalisco, Mexico. Jorge Manly Gil studied for three years at UC Irvine and received theological formation at the Los Angeles Catholic Worker Community, complementing that with graduate studies in pastoral care at Mt. St. Mary’s College in L.A. He received a teaching credential from the University of Guadalajara. He’s bicultural and bilingual in Spanish/English. Jorge Manly Gil plays Sparrow Hawk in Off The Hook and serves on Poetic Justice Project’s Advisory Board.

Posted by: Shirley Wilson | Feb 8, 2011 12:07:57 PM

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