When a mother is incarcerated, her children often suffer from the separation. This week the House of Representatives passed legislation, which would facilitate visits between children and their incarcerated mothers. Sponsored by Rep. Penny Hubbard (D-St. Louis), HCS HB 1220 would establish a two-year pilot program to provide monthly transportation for prison visits with mothers who still have parental rights for their children younger than 17. Funding for the program could come from existing state revenues or other funding sources. A report will be prepared after two years on the cost and efficacy of the project for both children and incarcerated parents.
In a floor letter in support of the bill, the MCC noted that there is increasing evidence that children with incarcerated parents are more likely than other children to be incarcerated as adults. Likewise, the Bishops of Missouri in the 1980 Joint Statement on Corrections supported “visiting policies that will enable the prisoner to maintain positive relationships with family and friends.”
The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.