How this federal 'family only' prison policy is playing out in Philly - Generocity Philly

Purpose

Dec. 13, 2016 8:08 am

How this federal ‘family only’ prison policy is playing out in Philly

Prison visits are proven to reduce recidivism rates, but a new federal policy is keeping inmates from their loved ones. Philly criminal defense attorney Dana Bazelon explains how for Vox.

Lil' hand.

(Photo by Flickr user Niklas Morberg, used under a Creative Commons license)

This past summer, the Federal Detention Center enacted an “immediate family only” prison visitation policy to quell the number of visitors moving in and out of prisons.

But “immediate family” is defined by Bureau of Prisons (BOP) as parents, siblings, spouses and children. (See page four of this BOP document, published in July.) That doesn’t include romantic partners — who in turn can’t bring children conceived within those relationships to visit. Dana Bazelon, a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia, wrote about the impact the policy has had on her clients for Vox.

“I have been doing this work for nearly 10 years, and I cannot think of a single indigent client I have represented who is married,” she wrote. “The facilities that limit visitation to ‘immediate family’ are out of step with the world that most criminal defendants live in.”

And out of step with contemporary studies on the positive impact prison visits can have on recidivism rates; one Minnesota study determined a single visit can reduce recidivism by 13 percent for new crimes.

Bazelon predicts these restrictive policies will only continue to tighten up under Trump.

Read the full story -30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

Centering women of color is key to COVID-19 response

Emergency shelter is not prison, but there are overlapping human rights concerns 

It takes a city: Dispatch from a two-month-old social enterprise

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

¿Cómo preparamos a estudiantes sin ninguna historia familiar de educación universitaria?

Kensington, Philadelphia

Rock to the Future

Youth and Family Coordinator

Apply Now
Coatesville/Telework

Brandywine Health Foundation

Senior Program Officer

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Episcopal Community Services

Digital Marketing Manager

Apply Now

Rethinking disciplinary power in shelter

Meet Trooper Sanders, Benefits Data Trust’s new CEO

Kneel, donate, or burn it all down? Decarceration and 5 types of justice work

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

How do we prepare first-generation graduates for college?

Philadelphia (currently remote)

Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence

Human Resources Director

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Urban Technology Project

AmeriCorps Digital Service Fellow

Apply Now
Philadelphia/Baltimore

Heifer International

Director of Philanthropy, Mid-Atlantic Region

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity