Thursday, September 27, 2018

New Report on the Harm Caused by Jailing Mothers Pre-Trial

A new report issued by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch addresses the harm done to families when mothers are jailed pretrial.  While the research and report focuses on Oklahoma (the state with the highest number of incarcerated women) but is applicable wherever mothers are incarcerated. 

The press release reports that " ailing mothers, even for short periods oaf time can result in overwhelming debt and loss of child custody." Among the findings are:

- Mothers often plead guilty in exchange for probation in order to return to their children.  Then the mothers find that the local child protective service has taken custody of the children without any input from the mother.

-Jail visitation policies often prohibit in person visits replacing visitation with phone or video visits which are often cost prohibitive.

-Bail is excessive for most mothers virtually eliminating their chance for release pre-trial.  Even if they raise needed bail the financial cost often impoverishes the family.

A Q and A interview discussing the report may be found here.  The full report can be found here:  You Miss So Much When You're Gone.  

Because of Oklahoma's record of incarcerating women at high rates, the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women is holding its conference "Free Her" in Tulsa this weekend.

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