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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 21, 2018 09:22 AM
From: Representative Donna Bullock
To: All House members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship: Dignity for Incarcerated Women and Parents Package - Providing a Free Monthly Phone Call to Incarcerated Parents
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would require the Department of Corrections (DoC) to provide incarcerated parents with a free call to their child each month. The bill is part of a package, sponsored by the Legislative Black Caucus’s Women and Girls of Color Subcommittee, which aims to bring more dignity to incarcerated women and parents.

Research has consistently shown that contact with family members eases an inmate’s transition back into the community and reduces recidivism rates. Family members provide both social control and social support, both of which inhibit criminal activity. Furthermore, phone contact with loved ones is viewed as especially vital to inmates who may struggle with writing letters due to a lack of spelling, grammar and other writing skills.

My legislation would ensure that incarcerated parents are able to speak to their children regularly, regardless of their financial means, by providing them with one free phone call each month to their child. Maintaining parent-child relationships are vital to combatting the risk factors faced by children of incarcerated parents, such as academic failure, behavioral problems or truancy issues.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation to provide much-needed family contact to incarcerated parents to preserve family bonds and reduce recidivism. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (717) 787-3480.

Introduced as HB2666