This week the House Urban Issues Committee heard HB 443, a bill that would increase access for children to visit their incarcerated parents. Sponsored by Representative Penny Hubbard (D-St. Louis), the bill establishes a two-year pilot project to provide transportation to children from birth to 17 years of age to visit parents in four selected prisons. At the end of the two years, a report will be submitted to the Governor and Missouri General Assembly on the efficacy of the program.
When testifying in support of the bill, the MCC cited research showing that keeping children in contact with their incarcerated parents can have a positive effect on the child and can improve the successful re-entry of the parent back into society. It is estimated that approximately 40,000 children in Missouri have a parent incarcerated in prison.
The committee took no action on the bill.